Federal IT Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque (centre) with an IT industry expert at the Techlift bootcamp event in Karachi. Image Credit: P@SHA

Islamabad: Pakistan’s first industry-led bootcamp will help address the current digital skills gap and accelerate the growth of the IT sector, the IT Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque said at the graduation ceremony of the first batch of trainees in Karachi.

The Techlift bootcamp is designed to provide the latest technology training to eligible graduates and make them competitive in the job market with an impressive 80 per cent employability rate.

It offers an international standard curriculum designed by IT companies to ensure that trainees are prepared for successful careers in tech. The programme has a target to train and recruit 4,000 graduates for software industry roles.

According to the IT ministry, Pakistan is producing around 50,000 IT graduates every year. However, experts believe that the skills of these graduates are falling short of industry standards, indicating a need for additional training. Techlift bootcamp was initiated in May 2022 to address the tech skills gap.

It is the joint initiative of the Ministry of IT and Telecom, Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB), and a consortium of 21 leading tech companies. The Rs590 million initiative is funded by the Ministry of IT and Telecom, according to the ministry statement.

“Around 1,800 IT graduates successfully completed their training and awarded certificates” while the remaining 2,200 graduates will complete their training by June 2023, the minister said.

“The curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of the industry and designed by IT companies, focusing on emerging technologies to provide trainees with hands-on experience based on real-world scenarios and market needs.”

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Haque said that Pakistan’s young population presented a unique opportunity for national growth and development provided their “talents were harnessed and channeled in the right direction.”

He added that the government had set a target of 100 per cent growth in the coming years to increase IT exports, which required skilled youth trained in the lat-est technology trends to meet the demands of the market.

Haque said that the success of Pakistan’s economy was tied to the growth of the tech industry, and said that the bootcamp graduates would “play a pivotal role in driving innovation and growth in the country.”

He expressed confidence that the programme had equipped them with the necessary skills and knowledge to shape the future of Pakistan and achieve their targets.

Chairman of Pakistan Software Houses Association Zohaib Khan, Syed Bilal Mahmood of Con-tour Software, Secretary IT Navid Ahmed Shaikh, Member IT Syed Junaid Imam, and other prominent IT industry experts also attended the event. They expressed hope that the Techlift bootcamp will help Pakistan achieve its target of increasing IT exports and position itself as a leading player in the global tech industry.