ISLAMABAD: In the wake of increasing globalisation and technological advances, all countries require skill on top of knowledge to establish not only financial and communal development but also lasting peace. While failures of both SAARC summit and cricket diplomacy, which could not attract international community to Pakistan, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) was finally successful in bringing delegates from as many as 15 countries to their ‘International TVET Conference-Pakistan’ this year, which was held on October 3-4 at Marriott Hotel. The countries like China, the UK, Germany, Australia, Turkey, South Korea, Belarus, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Japan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan were represented on the occasion that served to help Pakistan benefit from successful experiences, discover additional avenues to improve industry, enhance public-private partnership and entrepreneurship along with increasing employment in both domestic and international market. NAVTTC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema also spoke on the occasion and lamented that the organisation had failed to achieve its due position largely because of their misdirected priorities. However, he also believed that skill development should now be considered a top priority as it holds the power to alleviate poverty while restoring peace and prosperity. Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, M Balighur Rehman, inaugurated the ceremony on October 3, while Islamabad Mayor Sheikh Ansar Aziz, German Ambassador Ina Lepel, the Sri Lankan ambassador along with delegates from Australia, UK, China, Korea, Malaysia and industrialists like DESCON Chairman Abdur Razaq Daud, Indus Motors Country Head Pervaiz Ghiyas and Crescent Group’s Humayun Mazhar were also present on the occasion. In his address, Rehman asserted that Pakistan had remarkably improved the delivery of the TVET and the present government would continue to equip the country’s youth with employable skills. He commended Cheema and his team for organising the conference, bringing together experts and stakeholders from within Pakistan as well as abroad to discuss and share their views on an issue that is of considerable importance for not only Pakistan but also for the entire world. The German ambassador opined that Germany would continue to support the TVET reform system in Pakistan. In his address, Islamabad mayor welcomed the foreign delegates and hoped that they would enjoy the exquisite beauty hospitality of Pakistan. Various eminent industrialists also apprised the audience regarding the role of industry in the skill development sector and inspired other industrialists to collaborate to promote technical and vocational education. The participants applauded colourful stalls organised by many technical institutes accredited with NAVTTC. Meanwhile, foreign delegates shared their experiences in alleviating poverty, increasing employment opportunities and promoting technical and vocational education. The conference also featured extensive discussions on the role of private sector in TVET, recognition of prior learning, apprenticeship and youth employability, quality assurance in TVET and market analysis, job placement and entrepreneurship, which set forth various useful recommendations for the government and relevant stakeholders in this regard. All the participants applauded the organisers for holding such a successful conference while acknowledging that Pakistan was very different from their perceptions largely derived from biased media. They elaborated on their pleasant experience in Islamabad and expressed hopes to visit Pakistan again in the near future. This initiative by NAVTTC would certainly prove to be a catalyst in developing technical and vocational training by creating public awareness with regard to the significance of technical education as well as minimising the vacuum between training providers and industry. If implemented, NAVTTC’s vision ‘Skills for Employability and Skills for All’ would definitely help change the destiny of Pakistan.