ISLAMABAD: A number of public and private sector organisations displayed their contribution towards promoting technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and its ongoing reforms in Pakistan at an event. The event titled “Showcasing TVET Reforms in Pakistan” was also attended by a number of diplomats, senior government officials, employers and representatives of various donor agencies, TVET agencies and youngsters enrolled in various TVET programmes across the country, said a news release issued on Sunday.The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema inaugurated the event. While ambassador of the European Union to Pakistan Jean-Fran‡ois Cautain, ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ina Lepel, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Jeannette Seppen, and ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway, Tore Nedrebo, were the guests of honour. The event was supported by the TVET Reform Support Programme, a five-year initiative launched in 2011 to support the government in improving access, relevance, equity and quality of the TVET sector to achieve better results. The programme funded by the European Union and the governments of the Netherlands, Germany and Norway in collaboration with NAVTTC.The first phase of the ongoing TVET sector reform is coming to an end in December 2016, while the second phase will commence from January 2017 onwards for another five years. During the first phase, the NAVTTC, which is spearheading the reforms in partnership with various TVET sector organisations at federal and provincial levels, has achieved a number of targets, set under the National Skill Strategy (NSS). The NSS provides basis for the TVET sector reform in Pakistan.While speaking on the occasion, NAVTTC Executive Director Zulfiqar Ahmad Cheema highlighted the importance of TVET, terming “equipping the youth with employable skills is the only solution to alleviate poverty and unemployment in Pakistan.” He underlined the fact that Pakistan is blessed with the youth bulge, as almost 60 percent of its population consists of young people.To exploit this demographic dividend, he explained that the government is committed to utilise all its resources to reform the TVET sector. The launching of the first-ever national TVET policy, the National Vocational Qualifications Framework (NVQF), Competency Based Training (CBT) Programme in 130 institutes, Cooperative Vocational Training (CVT) in Lahore and Karachi, system with data base of over 500,000 skilled workers and 55,000 employers, setting up 102 vocational counseling centres and training of 8,500 TVET teachers across Pakistan are some of the key achievements made during the current phase of the reform programme. The event also featured a small exhibition, where a number of organisations both from public and private sectors displayed the success stories as well as quality training courses, which they are offering to the youth.