Telenor Pakistan, leading digital services provider in the country, has partnered with Pakistan’s first University based completely on modern Information and Communication Technologies “Virtual University” to launch a nationwide digital skill-building program pertinently named DigiSkills Training Program.
Under auspices of Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom through IGNITE – National Technology Fund, to impart training of one million workforces comprising of youth, skilled professionals and freelancers.
Under the Government patriarch, private institution virtual university of Pakistan will loan 1 lakh rupees to each, for the purchase of 1 million computers under a daily charity scheme. While a mobile phone connection company Telenor Pakistan will provide internet access to the cheapest cost.
The Prime Minister inaugurated the Scheme on Thursday 1st February 2018.
The agreement signing took place at the Prime Minister Secretariat in the presence of Prime Minister Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Dr. Naveed Malik, Rector, Virtual University of Pakistan and Adil Rashid, Chief Digital Services Officer was also present. Telenor Pakistan and Virtual University top management finalized a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rahman, President & CEO PTCL Dr. Daniel Ritz and CEO Ignite Mr. Yusuf Hussain also adorned the occasion.
The honorable PM Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi appreciated this initiative and said that this program will train 1 million people under the shade of “On Demand Economy”.
After the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee Information Technology, Minister of Information Technology Anusha Rehman said that initially 10 lakh people will be trained online at home. This training course will be for 4 months. Every Student will be able to learn daily online.
The more discussion was on how leveraging the emerging ICT technologies in Pakistan could create a virtual cloud of aspiring workers who are ready to take up online assignments to make a living, promoting Pakistan as a go-to-market for outsourcing of diversified freelance projects.
Anusha Rehman said that this training will be done through the latest technology around the world. The facility for training students in Urdu and English has been arranged.
Pakistan is the world’s 4th largest provider of online freelance services with an estimated registered number of freelancers ranging from several hundreds of thousands. Most of the work done is for international clients; therefore the money earned by them is brought into the country mainly in the form of foreign remittances.
Pakistan has the potential to increase its share in the freelance industry by folds and resultantly bring in valuable foreign exchange into the country and reduce unemployment.
Addressing the event here at the PM Office, the prime minister said his government was committed to supporting the private sector in its ventures of introducing cutting-edge technology and taking the country forward.
Prime Minister Abbasi said the government would ensure availability of the broadband across the country and facilitate e-commerce. He stressed the need to further work on it and said the entrepreneurship was a unique skill and only the private sector has the ability to take it forward.
The Prime Minister also added that the Digiskills training program would also deck out the youth to get online jobs and earn money in a non-traditional way. He said he has great faith in the youth of the country and expressed confidence that the women would lead in these areas.
Ms.Anusha Rahman, Minister of State for IT and Telecommunication said: “DigiSkills combines an ideal mix of a partnership between Ignite and Virtual University’s expansive and advanced eLearning platform to further Ministry of IT’s digitization and empowerment goals.”
“I appreciate Telenor’s contribution to DigiSkill program by providing the low mobile broadband cost to DigiSkills Program beneficiaries” she acknowledged.
“This partnership with Virtual University is a significant development in pursuit of our mission of empowering the Pakistani society,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan.
“Being the proud leaders of ICT-powered digital transformation in Pakistan, we are totally cognizant of the changes the employment market is undergoing globally. As we work to match Pakistan’s pace with the developed world on all fronts, we aim to multiply Pakistan’s share in the online freelance market with the VU partnership.”
With the world going digital and jobs gradually getting out of the conventional office space to a professional’s home and fingertips, Pakistan too needs to up its digital skills game to take full advantage of the opportunities that await them in the online world,” he added.
The program aims at, not only developing key specialized skills but also imparting knowledge about various freelancing and other employment & entrepreneurial opportunities available internationally and locally.
Due to limited employment opportunities, it is essential for the upcoming workforce to have necessary knowledge and abilities. The need is to seize such opportunities to become influential participants in the global competitive market for capturing international opportunities across multiple industry segments.
“We are pleased to have partnered with Pakistan’s ICT technology leader to impart digital skills in our youth and fight the longstanding challenge of unemployment,” said Ehsan Puri, Director ICT, Virtual University of Pakistan.
Fighting unemployment and creating new job avenues is a collective responsibility of the business world and DigiSkills should inspire other market players to take similar steps for the empowerment of our youth,” he added.
With the emergence of internet and connectivity, the freelance economy is taking shape globally with millions of individuals around the world. They are benefiting from the online, outsourcing work allowing them the opportunity to work on global projects and earn good money.
Most freelance employees choose flexibility over a structured work environment or working hours. The freelance industry is also giving rise to small- and medium-size business ventures and thus promoting entrepreneurship globally.
Pakistan is moving rapidly upward in the digital world.
Now the hope is for the fully digitized and adroit Pakistan.