Murad says technical education has potential to bridge skill gap, foster economy

KARACHI-Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday said that Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) was the only sector that has the potential to bridge the skills gap and foster economic growth and reduce poverty. 
“We must approach our work in the TVET sector with a spirit of inclusivity that provides access to all marginalized sectors of society.”
This he said while speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Government Polytechnic Institute, Azam Basti, adopted by SZABIST, ZABTech (ITV). The ceremony was attended by Chancellor SZBIST Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho, Minister Labour Saeed Ghani, Director ZABTech Waheeda Mahesar, and others.
Shah said, “I have full faith and confidence in the faculty and staff of SZABIST-ZABTech to deliver the same standard of excellence at Govt Polytechnic Institute (GPI) Azam Basti as its other chapters in Sindh.” 
He anticipated that it would teach 1,000 trainees in the first phase and the number would increase in the second phase. 
GPI Azam Basti was handed over to SZABIST-ZABTech from STEVTA as per a Cabinet decision of the Government of Sindh. 
The CM expressed his satisfaction to witness first-hand its state-of-the-art facilities in its classrooms and vocational laboratories. “I am impressed to see the vast selection of women-specific skills training on offer,” he said and added unemployed women were an untapped resource for productivity and economic output for the province. 
Murad Shah said that SZABIST-ZABTech’s expansion and outreach since its inception in the year 2,000 have been impressive. He added that it was the largest TVET provider in the private sector in Sindh.
Murad said that recently, SZABIST-ZABTech has expanded outside of Sindh into the Province of Balochistan. SZABIST-ZABTech has also adopted the Center of Excellence, Hub under a Public Private Partnership with the Government of Balochistan.  
“This is a testament to the quality of Sindh’s private sector institutions, the leadership of the SZABIST-ZABTech team and the quality of training that is imparted by its staff.
The CM said that ZABTech’s slogan “Hunar Mand Sindh, Khush-haal Sindh” was laudable, equally for men and women. “It was the collective responsibility of the government, the private sector, and our development partners to design and implement practical programmes to generate employment, reduce poverty among the youth, and economically empower them to play a more meaningful role in the development and uplifting of their communities and the nation at large,” he said.
Murad Shah recalled the speech of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto at Bhit Shah, where she emphasised the importance of vocational training. He added that being her worker it was his responsibility to carry her vision forward.
Shah pledged his support to SZABIST-ZABTech and the TVET sector at large. “I look forward to working in collaboration and believe we can make great strides in reducing unemployment and alleviating poverty in Sindh,” he said. 
The chief minister thanked Chancellor of SZABIST, Dr Azra Fazal Pehucho for her commitment in manifesting the vision of our leader, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto in integrating TVET into mainstream education for the youth.
It may be noted that STEVTA has handed over the GPI, Azam Basti to SZABIST-ZABTech.

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