Industry-driven workforce.

Pakistan has a burgeoning population, with a major youth bulge that needs jobs, which could only be created in an economy that is growing at a healthy rate. On the contrary, our economy is shrinking and most of the value-added items are imported, while our dwindling exports consist of low-value-added items in low-value sectors such as textile, sports goods, and surgical instruments. Over the last few decades, the country has suffered from massive de-industrialisation, with money pouring into real estate and the bullion market. Amid this perennial economic crisis, there has been no consistent economic and technology policy. Resultantly, our reliance on imported goods only increased and the present economic scenario-where we don't even have the dollars to import essential items bears testimony to the decades of mismanagement by successive governments.

In the present quagmire, there are a multitude of suggestions as to how to arrest the economic and technological downfall. There are suggestions for improving digital skills to tap foreign markets, just as India and China did. However, there are no suggestions as to how we will enter into these markets where India is already dominating. Similarly, there are voices for improving productivity, and workforce skills through training, and workshops. Various government agencies such as NAVTTC, TEVTA, and TUSDEC are 'vigorously' designing courses for the workforce. However, again, all these voices and suggestions do not mention the technology they are targeting, because most of the technologies being employed in our industry are either obsolete or near obsolesce. The websites of these government agencies tell a rosy picture of the number of apprentices trained, and training packages developed and delivered, thus indicating a healthy, vibrant, expanding industrial base which is absorbing these new apprentices equipped with their designed skills. But factually, the industrial base is dwindling, and exports are plummeting, thus negatively affecting the workforce employed or required. |In sum, the picture...

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