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Technology

Pakistan can capitalise on youth only if talent is harnessed: IT minister

  • Says 4,000 IT graduates are being trained by PSEB, P@sha and 21 other leading tech companies at cost of Rs590mn
Published March 20, 2023

Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin Ul Haque on Monday said that 4,000 IT graduates are being trained by the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), Pakistan Software House Association (P@sha) and 21 other leading tech companies at a cost of Rs590 million which is be funded by the Ministry of IT and Telecom.

“The programme began in May last year and about 1,800 IT graduates have successfully completed their training and they have been awarded with certificates,” he said while addressing the graduation ceremony of TechLift Boot Camp here at local Hotel in Karachi on Monday. “The remaining 2,200 graduates will complete their training by June 2023.”

Haque said that Pakistan boasts about the potential of young people as around two-third of its population is under the age of 30.

“This demographic presents a unique opportunity for growth and development but that can only be achieved if we are able harness the talent of youth and channel them in the right direction,” he said.

The Pakistani government has also fixed a target to export $5 billion worth of IT products in fiscal year 2023 but in the first seven months, IT exports stood at just $1.52 billion, which is merely 2% higher than the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

On several occasions, government officials have also stated Pakistan aimed to achieve $15 billion in IT exports in three years, which many IT industry officials say is far-fetched.

Haque said that IT exports would go over the roof with 100% growth rate.

“The Ministry of IT and Telecom has collaborated with both public and private sector stakeholders to set a goal of 100% growth in the coming years,” he said.

“Our target is to take IT exports to $15 billion. To achieve this goal, it is essential that we provide our youth with maximum opportunities for world-class IT training,” he said.

Four years ago, IT exports were around $900 million and this number has now risen to $3 billion owing to the initiatives taken of the IT ministry, he said.

MOITT and PSEB have partnered with P@sha and a consortium of 21 IT companies to launch the Techlift boot camp training program - a groundbreaking initiative that brings together the government and the IT industry to uplift Pakistan’s technology sector.

The minister said that this industry-driven bootcamp had been specifically designed to provide the latest technology training to the youth in a bid to make them competitive in the job market with an 80% employability rate.

He said that the success of Pakistan’s economy is intricately tied to the growth of our tech industry.

“I firmly believe that these graduates will play a pivotal role in driving innovation and growth in the country. I am confident that this program has equipped them with the necessary skills and knowledge to shape the future of our country and achieve our targets,” Haque said.

Currently, Pakistan is producing 50,000 IT graduates annually.

“Their skills are commendable, but some other training is necessary to integrate many of these young people into the IT industry. There is no doubt that our young generation is showing the essence of its abilities in information and communication technology,” Haque said.

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