Islamabad: More than 50,000 young men and women across Pakistan have signed up for various skills training programmes under the Competency-Based Training programme (CBT), an internationally popular approach for quality vocational training.

The introduction of CBT is the cornerstone of the ongoing reform within the technical education and vocational training (TVET) sector, initiated by the government and supported by the European Union and the governments of Germany and Norway, a press release on Saturday said.

National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), which is spearheading the country-wide reform in the TVET sector, has developed the first-ever National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF) that provide the basis for introduction of the paradigm shift in the delivery of vocational training in Pakistan.

CBT is delivered against the national standards set by the industry, hence the prospects of employability for graduates of CBT training programmes are higher than the old traditional training methods, said Syed Javed Hasan, chairman NAVTTC while highlighting the importance of this new training approach.

Particulars of all the trainees and graduates under CBT programmes are nationally complied through an online NVQF registry, which is housed within NAVTTC. According to the latest update, more than 50,000 men and women from all over the country have either completed or are enrolled for various CBT programmes in more than 400 TVET institutes.

“Switching more and more TVET institutes towards CBT approach is an encouraging sign, hence the current government has also decided to shift from the traditional wayof training to the ones led by industry,” Hasan said.

Upscaling of NVQF and mainstreaming of CBT approach is an integral part of the new National Skills for All Strategy, which has been devised by the current government as a comprehensive agenda for skill development in the country.

The competency-based training is the latest approach of training delivery and assessment which is being followed across the globe.

The initiative isbeing carried out after the launch of NVQF as an important intervention in the TVET to improve quality of the training.

The NVQF supports the establishment of a national system for recognition for TVET qualifications and certificates.

The NVQF provides a basis for recognition of qualifications at national and international levels.

Under this reform process, the governments of Khyber Pakhtunkha (KP) and Pakistan administered-Kashmir have already announced plans to convert their complete TVET system based on CBT, which will improve the quality of skills training and enhance employment opportunity for youths.

The managing-director of TEVTA-KP, Sajjad Ali Shah, endorsed the idea of a CBT&A system, saying, “The CBT&A is a modern way of delivering technical and vocational training, which exists in a number of developed countries such as United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and South Asian countries such as Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka”.

The chairman of TEVTA-Kashmir, Khawaja Mohammad Tariq said, “The goal of making the youth highly skilled improves employability prospects and the conversion of institutes would bear good results [in Kashmir”.

The implementation of NVQF has been supported by the TVET Sector Support Programme, which is funded by the European Union and Governments of Germany and Norway.

The programme has been assisting the Government of Pakistan to reform the TVET system since 2011.

The programme focuses on governance, development of quality human resource including trainees and trainers as well as creating linkages between public and private sector.