Unemployment in Pakistan is a grave problem and will increase further. It is expected that unemployment in Pakistan to cross 8.6 million by 2020. Around 4 million people between 14-24 years are presently unemployed in Pakistan.
The reason behind growing unemployment is increase in the labor force with 1.7 million young people reaching to working age every year. This means more jobs needed and which the market currently cannot create.
The grave problem was under discussion in an event organized at the British Deputy High Commission by Citibank N.A., Pakistan (Citi) and the British Asian Trust (BAT). The program was organized to celebrate the first year of Urban Youth Program, which is a joint program and is a part of the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative. It is being implemented by the LUMS Centre for Entrepreneurship.
There were many young entrepreneurs, government officials, businessmen and development sector people in the event. They discussed the importance of enhancing opportunities for the youth.
Nadeem Lodhi, MD & CCO, Citibank N.A., Pakistan said “As a Pakistani, I must admit it is alarming to learn that this young and able workforce is not being given their chance to shine. With one in three working people in Pakistan aged between 15 and 24, we cannot ignore the need nor shy away from providing support. We must lend a hand in breaking the cycle of poverty and the most effective way of doing this is to ensure access to quality training, which in turn allows them to earn and to build their own future.”
It has been stated that through this venture over 60 young people got training, mentoring and investment to start up and grow a profitable business. The program has provided a model that can be ascended and imitated.
Ellin Burns, the British Deputy High Commissioner who hosted the event stated that she is impressed by the results of this venture.
The Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress initiative prepares urban youth to flourish in today’s economy. It wants to tackle the issue of unemployment in Pakistan, which indeed needs great attention.