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Skills development and competitiveness - the role of HRD

Mohammad, Irfan (1999): Skills development and competitiveness - the role of HRD.


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This study reflects an attempt to document the existing state of affairs in the fields of Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT) in Pakistan. Relationships between competitiveness and labour market performance, the level of skills and pattern of industrialisation are examined. Future challenges under globalisation and their likely impact on employment generation and skill needs is also dealt at length. The first chapter of the study sketches out the existing system of TEVT, in terms of institutions, output and various trades which are being focussed upon by the system. Administrative set-up and the coordination mechanism is also briefly touched upon. Employability of the output produced by these institutions is discussed too. Using the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) of 1993/94, the size of the trained labour force is estimated and its pattern of employment by rural/urban and informal/formal is provided in the second chapter. The information of the survey is also utilised to assess the impact of training on the earnings of the individuals. In addition the influence of training on employability of trainee is examined. The third chapter contains discussion on recent initiatives of the government to enlist the participation of private sector in the TEVT System. The Skill Development Councils and their role is described. In addition the Government of Punjab's effort to expand technical and vocational education are discussed. The fourth chapter comprises of few case studies of the existing training institutions. Their influence on different aspects of industrial development of the area as well as meeting the skills need is described. These case studies pertain to Institute of Leather Technology Gujranwala, Pak-German Wood Working Centre Peshawar, and Metal Industrial Development Centre Sialkot. Competitiveness, Human Resource Development (HRD) and Future Challenges for Pakistan's economy are dealt in the fifth chapter. A brief discussion on the specifity of the type of technology used in the productive process of the economy and the effective use of HRD is made. The Total Factor Productivity (TFP) growth of Pakistan's economy during the past fifty years is presented. Information on the unit labour cost is provided and compared with South and East Asian Countries. The changes in unit labour cost during 1970-92 are examined and factors underlying this change are identified. Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA) analysis is presented to frame an idea about the products where Pakistan enjoys comparative advantage. Estimates pertaining to the possible effects of globalisation under WTO and post MFA scenario on employment generation are also presented. Final chapter while summarizing the study attempts to identify the major challenges facing the Pakistan's economy. The needed HRD efforts to address some of the issues are outlined. Questions regarding the design of the training policy, the existing institutional weaknesses are addressed too.

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