ISLAMABAD - The preparatory work of China-Pakistan International Industrial Academic Integration Alliance has started, says a report published by China Economic Net (CEN). “In the next 3 to 5 years, we will cultivate 30,000-50,000 skilful youth in Pakistan,” Muhammad Ammar, Secretary General, China-Pakistan International Industrial Academic Integration Alliance (Preparatory) said at a discussion panel. The discussion focused on the exploration of China-Pakistan International Industrial-Education Integration Cooperation in vocational education, which is part of the China-Pakistan TVET Cooperation and Development Seminar organised by Tang International Education Group and hosted by the Pakistani Embassy in China. “These youth will serve the needs of CPEC construction,” he added. In addition, China-Pakistan Vocational Education and Employment Research Centre will be established under the Alliance and international vocational skill contests will be organised for skilful youth in Pakistan, as well as in SCO countries in the future. According to Sajid Baloch, Executive Director, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), in future one million manpower with high skills will be required in Pakistan, especially in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and CPEC projects. “Vocational and technical training is crucial for us to realise the national goals of enhanced productivity and export. It is high time that we invest in the workforce in Pakistan,” he said. It is learned that via the alliance, Pakistan and China will join efforts in building advanced international professional standards, curriculum standards and digital curriculum resources, training teachers for vocational colleges in Pakistan, providing language and skills training for Pakistani youth, building China-Pakistan International College in Pakistan and China-Pakistan Centre of Excellence for Vocational Education, carrying out international scientific research cooperation projects, holding international skills competitions, promoting international school-enterprise cooperation and industry-education integration projects represented by Pakistani teachers and students coming to China for training and employment, etc. In recent several years, China-Pakistan vocational education is gaining pace. “CPEC construction has injected momentum to the accelerating vocational education development and this message has been felt by the people,” Ms Afifa Shajia Awais, Education Attaché, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Beijing told CEN in an interview. “This will bring an ocean of opportunities, from Gilgit-Baltistan to Gwadar. In our rural revitalisation project, we can use technical and vocational training to equip young people not only for their livelihood, but also to keep the industries moving,” she said.