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Event Title: Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Convener Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House Islamabad

Event Date: 2024-01-17

The sub-committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development met for the second consecutive day at the Parliament House, led by Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, with the presence of Senator Shaheen Khalid Butt and Senator Zeeshan Khanzada. The session aimed at a comprehensive discussion on the challenges faced by Overseas Pakistani workers worldwide.

In the morning session, Senior Officials from the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) attended the meeting, acknowledging the significance of the matter and commending the committee's initiative to enhance the well-being of the Pakistani workforce. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi, the convener, elucidated the committee's efforts, urging EAD officials to dedicate substantial efforts to the training and certification of Pakistani workers.

The Additional Secretary of EAD assured the committee of complete support in collaborating with relevant ministries and departments to enhance training facilities for the Pakistani workforce. Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi emphasized the committee's goal of integrating training facilities of Public Sector Organizations, making them easily accessible to every worker through a centralized system. Stressing the importance of providing essential training and certification, she highlighted that several Gulf countries are set to require certification for hiring any workforce beyond the year 2025.

EAD officials expressed readiness to explore specific proposals within their mandate, including reaching out to international development partners for necessary training and skill development.

In the afternoon session, Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Ministry of Science and Technology, National University of Technology (NUTEC), and Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) officials attended the meeting. Convenor Engr. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi discussed in detail the job opportunities for Pakistani citizens abroad. She delved into topics such as job training within prominent organizations, opportunities within public sector refineries, and strategies to address unemployment for Pakistanis.

Convenor Engr. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi also highlighted the issue of exploitation faced by Pakistani citizens working abroad, often resulting in begging. The Ministry, while acknowledging the need to diminish language barriers, proposed the introduction of language learning programs to enhance students' ability to leverage their skills abroad. The committee unanimously decided to prioritize language learning and integrate the acquisition of new languages into the curriculum.

Convenor Engr. Senator Rukhsana Zuberi emphasized the commitment to enhancing the skills of the youth to overcome unemployment barriers. She recommended that the ministry provide written documentation of the research and development process, along with insights into skill acquisition, for sharing with committee members.