Karachi: Thirteen German multinational and Pakistani national companies on Thursday formally launched the Germany Pakistan Training Initiative (GPATI), a new skills development project aiming at equipping young Pakistani men and women with employable skills.
GPATI, initiated by the German Consulate General in Karachi, will not only strengthen the bilateral economic cooperation between Pakistan and Germany but will also contribute to a paradigm shift in the skills development system of Pakistan, says Dr. Tilo Klinner, German Consul General, while speaking at a press briefing here on Thursday.
According to Dr. Klinner, GPATI is a new training approach towards creating a demand-driven technical and vocational education and training system in Pakistan, which is based on the German Dual Training System. This German system has been modified and developed into an appropriate model of cooperative training to match Pakistan’s needs for a highly skilled workforce. German multinational companies based in Karachi such as BASF, BMW, DHL, Linde, Lufthansa Cargo, Merck, METRO, DB Schenker, Mercedes and SIEMENS as well as one Pakistani company, Automobile Corporation of Pakistan Limited, are participating in this initiative as contributing employers, while the Aman Institute for Vocational Training (AMANTECH) and the Institute for Advancing Careers and Talents (iACT) are the training providers for this project.
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is funding the project in its pilot phase, until January 2014;the implementation is managed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, a federal enterprise, which supports the German Government in achieving its objectives in the field of international cooperation for a sustainable development around the globe.
Dr. Julie Reviere, Principal Advisor GIZ Education Projects, termed GPATI as a solution to create a market-driven workforce for the socio-economic development of Pakistan. She argued that currently there is a weak linkage between training delivery and the market needs, resulting in training institutes across Pakistan producing a workforce, which does not meet the demand of the market. A major reason, she stressed, is the limited involvement of the employers in the training delivery process.
GPATI, however, offers a window of opportunity for Pakistan to replicate and adopt best international practices to modernize its technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system, by adequately involving the employers and satisfying their needs, Dr. Julie opined.
Under GPATI, young men and women, with academic qualifications ranging from 10 to 14 years of education, will undergo skill development training both at AMANTECH and iACT combined with an on-job-training at the participating companies.
As many as 14 occupational trades, covering technical and commercial streams of TVET, have been identified so trainees acquire skills, the market and the employers are looking for. Courses such as general electrician, motor winder, electronic technician, mechanical general & bench fitters, machinist, chemical technician, pharmaceutical technician, welder, motor vehicle mechanic are being handled by AMANTECH, while iACT will train the youth in trades such as customer service, sales assistant, supply chain assistant and courier operations assistant.
Training classes will commence by next week at both the training providing institutes: AMANTECH and iACT.
During the ceremony, Dr. Klinner also launched the official webpage of GPATI (www.gpati.com), inviting other Pakistani companies to join this initiative, thereby contributing to the development of a skilled workforce, that will Pakistan help to grow economically. Reference was made again to Germany, where a well-functioning TVET system is a major contributing factor to a healthy economy.