Vocational training and skilled labor, key factors for CPEC growth

ISLAMABAD, May 18 (INP): Setting up more vocational institutions and training of skilled labor force in Pakistan is the key factor for the growth of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, according to a report published by Gwadar Pro.

The report quoting Amir Ali, a Pakistani scholar on CPEC stated, to get the most benefit out of CPEC and for placing Pakistan in a leading position on the road of economic development, labor in Pakistan must be expert in their specific fields and should be educated about their moral duties.

“From technical education we can have more skilled labor, labor in Pakistan is much cheaper than in China which can greatly benefit the Chinese industries moving to Pakistan. Industrialization in Phase II of CPEC can largely benefit Pakistan’s economy if the labor is well trained,” he said.

Ali highlighted that countries like China and Japan are great examples that prepared ground and completed all infrastructure before attracting investors. They provided switch to start industry, and this example needs to be followed in Pakistan as well.

He estimated that the total investment in Pakistan under CPEC would reach $1,000 billion, which includes projects of Phase I, Phase II and Gwadar. All the three phases of CPEC are expected to be completed by 2030.

It is evident that labor is power that acts as fuel for production. No one can deny the importance of skilled labor at CPEC projects.

In the development of CPEC, adequate quality and skilled labor force is a big challenge to achieve high degree of excellence and in-time completion of the projects.

In order to understand the exact human resource demand and supply of the CPEC industry, we need to establish strong linkages and relationship with Chinese industry and academia, more specifically, vocational and technical training institutes.

According to the government’s annual plan 2020-21, Pakistan has the 9th largest labor force in the world,which is increasing every year. The number of employed workers will reach 62.91m in 2020-21 from 62.18m in 2019-20.

As per the Labor Force Survey 2017-18, unemployment rate for 2020-21 has been estimated at 9.56 percent.

The annual plan, according to the government, focuses on creating gainful employment opportunities under the broader framework of the government plans for economic growth and reforms. It also suggests COVID-19 responsive measures to protect workers and their jobs.