Pak-China Friendship is exemplary since decades. “The most recent milestone achieved in this bilateral relationship is the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It is estimated that if all the planned projects are implemented, the value of those projects would exceed all foreign direct investment in Pakistan since 1970 and would be equivalent to 17% of Pakistan’s 2015 gross domestic product. It is further estimated that the CPEC project will create some 700,000 direct jobs during the period 2015–2030 and add up to 2.5 percentage points to the country’s growth rate.
Unemployment in Pakistan is becoming more severe. Each year a large number of students are graduating from HEIs. There is extensive competition for jobs leading to high unemployment. The lack of employment opportunities is one of the reasons for high unemployment. CPEC is expected to promptly improve infrastructure and strengthen the economy of Pakistan. CPEC includes a series of construction projects including transportation networks, highways, energy projects and special economic zones. It is expected that infrastructure projects of CPEC will create enormous jobs. To maximize benefits from CPEC, Centre of Excellence for CPEC proposes proper planning and feasible assessment in various sectors of economy to cater the problem of unemployment in the country.
Identification of relevant trades/skills, for the need of prospective CPEC projects, both in short and long terms, are necessary for devising optimal human resource policies for job growth and economic development of all provinces of Pakistan especially for the less developed province of Pakistan. Socio-economic development requires focused and objective based policy options under CPEC for skill development, job growth, and human resource development. The current system is not yet explored to know if it fulfils the demand for skills for job growth and human resource development under the prospective CPEC projects in Pakistan. Conventional trades/skills, overlapping of trades/skills provision by different public sector departments, non-functional status, low coordination level among different departments, low skill levels, poverty, insurgency, and other low levels of socio-economic indicators are serious issues to pause the provision and development of relevant trades/skills required for yielding the benefits of prospective CPEC projects in Pakistan.
Identification of relevant trades/skills will probably help for devising right policy to generate more employment opportunities, treatment for skill mismatch, job growth, and human resource development in different sectors.