ILO to provide technical training to 50,000 Baloch youths

ILO to provide technical training to 50,000 Baloch youths

* Balochistan government to work for eliminating child labour in the province by 2013

QUETTA: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will assist the government of Balochistan in technical training of around 50,000 youth under a five-year programme, ILO Pakistan Director Donglin Li said on Saturday.

Li said the training would enable the youth to be employed in Middle Eastern countries, soon after the completion of the initiative.

Addressing a news conference along with Balochistan Education Minister Shafiq Ahmed Khan, the ILO director said the organisation realised that employment opportunities were essential for improving economic conditions of every household, lack of which could lead to unrest and lawlessness. Under the programme, ILO would assist the provincial government to convene a donors’ conference in Islamabad to collect funds for the intended project. Training would be imparted to the youth from all districts of Balochistan, keeping in view the demand for skilled labour. The programme would be initiated this year and would continue until 2013 and enable 50,000 young men from Balochistan gain better jobs in Middle East region.

“Since Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan and the provincial government is engaged in poor-friendly efforts, we believe Balochistan needs more attention. We consider it necessary to help the provincial government to pursue this project, which will directly lead to provision of training, and later on jobs, to the people of Balochistan,” Li said.

The ILO director also met Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani to brief him on the plan, which the chief minister endorsed.

Child Labour: Li said the Balochistan government had also pledged to eliminate child labour in the province by the year 2013.

“We want the government of Balochistan to firstly combat the worst forms of child labour in the province, which exist in fishing and mining sectors,” he said. “Balochistan has to first withdraw child workers from these two hazardous sectors and ensure provision of formal education to them so that they do not feel obliged to return to their old working places.”

Li lamented there were no updated statistics available about the number of child labourers in Pakistan. The last survey, conducted in 1994 by the Federal Statistics Bureau, said 3.3 million children in Pakistan were involved in child labour.

Elaborating the details of the other initiatives being taken by the ILO in Pakistan, Li said the ILO had recently launched a $7 million Combating Abusive Child Labour programme funded by the European Commission. Another European Commission-funded ª10 million programme would support Pakistan’s efforts to implement its National Skills Strategy by strengthening the national skills development system. malik siraj akbar

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