HAYATABAD, PESHAWAR – 20 JANUARY 2017: The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) launched a skills development programme on Friday to empower Pakistani and Afghan refugee youth across Pakistan.
The pilot project costing Rs. 30 million (USD 300,000) will train over 700 young people up to the age of 25 years old in all four provinces over the next three months.
Based on a skills survey for Pakistan and Afghanistan various trades and professions will be taught at technical and vocational centres in refugee-populated districts of the country.
Vocational training will be offered to young women and men in professions, including beauticians, tailors, plumbers, electricians, stone masons and fridge, mobile phone, solar panel repair technicians.
The launch at the Advanced Government Technical Training Centre in Peshawar was attended by the Federal Secretary SAFRON, Arbab Shahzad; UNHCR Representative for Pakistan, Indrika Ratwatte; Chief Commissioner for Afghan Refugees, Dr. Imran Zeb; and Yakub Mahsud, Chief Coordinator, Refugee Affected and Hosting Areas (RAHA) Secretariat.
Indrika Ratwatte emphasised the need to recognise and build on young people’s capacities and the valuable contributions they are already making to their family and community’s wellbeing.
Ratwatte said: “This pilot will empower youth and is an investment in the future human capital of Afghanistan. Education and skills training programmes like this have a tangible impact. These courses will provide many young people with a set of practical skills to help them make a living.”
Federal Secretary SAFRON, Arbab Shahzad, said: “Projects such as this have a strong impact on peaceful co-existence within communities. These courses will enable Afghan and Pakistani youth to create livelihoods for themselves and secure gainful employment.”
The participants of these three-month training courses will receive a small monthly stipend as well as the tools of their chosen trade helping them to establish an immediate source of income after completion of their training. After a review later this year, the programme aims to roll-out on a longer-term basis.