ISLAMABAD: The EU-funded technical and vocational education sector reforms project will help develop skills required for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.

This was stated by EU Ambassador Jean Francois Cautain while discussing the 63 million euros vocational education sector reforms project with State Minister for Education and Professional Training Balighur Rehman on Wednesday, says a press release.

“CPEC is as important a project for Europe, as it is for Pakistan and the region since it will also facilitate trade between Asia and Europe,” he added.

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Reform Support Project is being funded jointly by European Union, Germany and Norway.

A delegation of the EU held a meeting in this regard with the minister for education which was attended by other senior officers of ministry, says a press release issued by ministry of education on Wednesday.

The EU delegation was represented by EU ambassador Jean Francois Cautain and Federal Republic of Germany represented by acting German ambassador Tilo Klinner.

“The ministry is in contact with the EU representatives for getting their technical and financial support. We are also working on bringing various initiatives to improve technical education sector of the country,” said Joint Education Adviser Rafiq Tahir, who also attended the meeting.

Talking to Dawn, he said that first ever TVET policy had been moved to the federal cabinet for final approval.

During the meeting, the minister and his team appreciated the interest and efforts of EU representatives for supporting the TVET sector.

EU Ambassador Jean Francois Cautain discussed the details of the project and stressed the importance of coordination at national level for effective implementation of the programme.

He also highlighted that the project would aim at increasing private sector participation in TVET sector, enhancing public-private cooperation and developing necessary linkages between TVET institutes and industry.

The education minister informed the delegation that Inter-Provincial Education Ministers’ Conference provided an important platform for discussing issues and initiatives in the education sector and ensuring concerted efforts at the national level.

“The ministers conference has already endorsed the national TVET policy and this forum would also help facilitate coordination in the TVET Sector reform programme,” he added.

He said the capacity building of human resource through improvement in TVET sector was significant for the success and sustainability of CPEC projects.

“Government is committed to aligning technical skills training offered in TVET sector with industrial demands including emerging human capital needs of CPEC projects,” he added.

The ongoing project that entered its implementation stage in January 2017 is the third phase of assistance and is called, ‘Support to the Technical and Vocational Education and Training sector in Pakistan (TVET III)’.

Published in Dawn, July 20th, 2017

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