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LAHORE: Special Advisor to Prime Minister for Youth Affairs Usman Dar has said that first-ever comprehensive National Youth Development Framework (NYDF) has been developed to ensure quality education, gainful employment and meaningful engagement of youth in economic activities.

He revealed this while addressing a press conference at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) here Saturday. Provincial Minister for Special Education Chaudhry Muhammad Akhlaq and Chairman Engineering Development Board Almas Hyder were also present on the occasion.

He said Kamyan Jawan programme was aimed at polishing the skills and abilities of youth so that they could be emerged as job providers and economy boosters instead of job seekers. The social and economic development of youth was one of the top priorities of the government as their wellbeing would wet milestones for progress and prosperity of the country, he added.

The Advisor said the government was making all out efforts to convert youth as an economic force for the country. He said that huge investment is being made in youth to capitalize the immense potential of the country.

He said Pakistan was the fifth most populous country in the world. Currently, it has the largest generation of young people ever recorded in national history. Sixty-four percent (64 percent) of Pakistanis are below the age of 30, and 29 percent are aged between 15-29 years. He said youth between 15-29 years made up 41.6 percent of Pakistan's total labour force. Four million Pakistani youth attain working age every year. He added that to absorb this populace into the job market, Pakistan needs to create 4.5million new jobs over the next five years (0.9 million jobs annually).

Speaking on the occasion, LCCI President Irfan Iqbal Sheikh said that majority of young goes abroad to find out good employment opportunities and this brain-drain is a great economic loss to the country. He mentioned that migration rate of skilled manpower has increased in recent past and a developing country like Pakistan cannot afford continue to lose human resources.

The government should address those issues on priority which are forcing human resources to migrate to the other countries. He also called for strong industry-academia linkage saying that it would help produce suitable human resources for the industry. He urged the government to create new jobs in power, mining, manufacturing and service industry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020