LAHORE: The project “Evidence Generation and Design of ‘Non-Formal Education to Job Placement’ programme for Out-of-School Adolescents (OOSA) of Punjab,” marked a significant milestone with its successful completion. The project was a collaborative effort between Punjab Skills Development Fund (PSDF) and UNICEF, with technical support from Oxford Policy Management (OPM) and Akhuwat.
The partnership harnessed collective expertise to conceptualize an innovative, evidence-based programme to integrate accelerated learning, skills training and labour market linkages. This created a model to offer a cost-effective, hybrid solution whereby accelerated learning is integrated with skills development and linked with sustainable income generating and self-employment opportunities for out-of-school adolescents.
Over 9,500 out-of-school adolescents aged between 9 and 19 from six districts in Punjab, Lahore, Faisalabad, Rajanpur, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rahim Yar Khan and Bahawalpur, shared insights for the accelerated learning programme design as part of a comprehensive household survey. The survey also identified households with out-of-school adolescent boys and girls who would be willing to register for an accelerated learning and skills development programme.
In the pursuit of evidence generation, in partnership with other partners, PSDF actively contributed to the strategic development of a labour market linkage plan. PSDF engaged over 200 delivery partners and labour market stakeholders, fostering collaboration with Non-Formal Education partners, skills development partners and potential employers. This blueprint was designed to establish connections between the out-of-school adolescents and a diverse range of employment and self-employment opportunities.
The collaboration between UNICEF, PSDF, Akhuwat and OPM demonstrates the power of strategic partnerships in effectively addressing intricate social challenges.
“Programmes like this underscore our commitment to skills education and economic empowerment and also lay the groundwork for future endeavours aimed at transforming lives through such initiatives at every level,” shared PSDF’s Chief Operating Offer, Akbar Bosan upon the pilot programme’s completion.
“Connecting accelerated learning with skills development and opportunities for job placement in one programme is quite unique in Pakistan and could help disadvantaged adolescent girls and boys bridge the gap from learning to earning”,” said Ellen van Kalmthout, Chief of Education, UNICEF Pakistan.