Islamabad:Participants of a workshop on developing expertise in competency standards development have highlighted the need to improve the quality and effectiveness of training systems to bring it more in line with market demand and international standards.
The were speaking at the concluding ceremony of a four-day workshop on competency standards development conducted under International Labour Organisation (ILO) project, Promoting Gender Equality for Decent Employment (GE4DE), funded by the Canadian International Development Agency.
Competency based training focuses on the learning outcome or the demonstration of skill, rather than the time spent in training, the trainer or the mode of delivery. In short, the emphasis is on competencies not courses. Globally many countries have started making the shift towards competency-based training. Australia, the UK and Malaysia have been leaders in this field for many years and more recently, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, India and even Saudi Arabia have followed suit.
A group of twenty women and men representing public and private sector training authorities including provincial TEVTAs, Vocational Training Institutions, Ministry of Textiles, SamanZar, Benazir Bhutto Youth Skills Development Programme (BBYSDP), Pakistan Readymade Garments Technical Training Institute (PRGTTI), College Of Tourism Hotel Management (COTHM) and others are being trained by the ILO Office for Pakistan on competency standards development.
This initial four-day workshop will be followed up by technical assistance to initiate and complete the process of competency standards development for key economic sectors as part of their work with the ILO.
The key technical outcome of the workshop is the development of competency standards, which define the exact requirements of the workplace. The focus was to work on competency standards development for textiles and fashion design, hospitality and beauty and personal care, since these are sectors, which are considered key in terms of Pakistan’s economic development and women’s employment, the provision of high quality, market relevant training will have a positive impact on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The workshop was designed and delivered by ILO’s Skills and Training Specialist Trevor Riordan. Riordan has in depth knowledge of skills development systems in Pakistan and around the world. He said that globally, there is a paradigm shift from old traditional training methods to the development of competency standards. “The objective of the training was to help women and men in Pakistan achieve greater opportunities for decent employment,” he added.
Fashion designer Shayan Malik discussed inadequate links of training provided in Pakistan and industry. She highlighted the importance of such training in Pakistan and said that such activities can play very important role in the overall economic uplift of the country. Shayan is providing training to women in Rahimyar Khan on how to bring their embroidery skills at par with international standards.
ILO Programme Analyst Margaret Reade Rounds said that with the development of new Pakistan growth framework and devolution of power to provinces, such training that are aimed at improving competence and linking trainings with the industry needs, are vital to achieve the global standards.
Commenting on standard of trainings in Pakistan, First Secretary Development for CIDA Farah Chandani said that most of the time, such activities are not result oriented. She said that the workshop on development of competency standards has given a new dimension to these training and hoped that it will bring the much needed change in the curriculum and practice of public and private technical training institutes.The news.