Engro Powergen Thar Limited and Descon Technical Institute (DTI), in a collaborated effort to make the Thar Dream come to life, signed an agreement on July 20th, 2016 to conduct on-site scaffolding training of 200 locals. This will serve as a great opportunity for the people of this region to become more involved with the Thar Coal Project which will be a game changer for Pakistan’s energy landscape and the people of the desolate region of Thar. Moreover, with this Project being undertaken in the area, skill development and training of locals will create a sense of ownership amongst them – this making them the true custodians of the natural resources they have been blessed with. After the success of several skill development initiatives undertaken by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company for the Thar Coal Project in Block 2, namely, HTV Drivers’ training at NLC institute, Islamabad, masonry training and experienced drivers’ employment campaign, this is another milestone has been reached in the journey towards skill development and capacity building of the people of Thar and its adjoining areas.
At the signing which was held at the EPTL office in Karachi, Manzoor Zaidi, CFO EPTL said “We are delighted to be joining hands with the prestigious training institute of DTI to enhance the skills and capabilities of the people of Thar, who have immense potential to give back to their communities. We are committed to tapping into the human resource that is available to us within the Thar region, and this training is just one of the many initiatives EPTL has taken and intends to take in the future which will ensure rapid skill development and employment opportunities for the local communities”. On the occasion, DTI Head Mirza Toheed Iqbal Baig also shared his thoughts, saying “DTI is very happy that EPTL has chosen us to collaborate with them to work on such a great project. At DTI we believe in skills for livelihood, and there seems no better way to help people from places such as Thar to emerge from their embryonic state.”
The training will commence in August, after preliminary procedures have been conducted. This is a unique initiative being undertaken under the banner of ‘Khushaal Thar’ and will seek to train over 1,500 locals, in several different trades required for the skill manpower requirement for the power plant project, which is being established by Engro Powergen Thar Limited and the mining project which is being undertaken by Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company.
Thar is one of those areas of Pakistan that rank lowest in all Human Development Indices, there is a visible vacuum of a readily available skilled workforce as most of the local population is heavily dependent on traditional methods of livelihood generation which, in the long term are limited in scope due to frequent drought conditions. The ‘Khusshaal Thar’ campaign will lead an endeavor which will seek to train the local populace in a sustainable manner, expanding their sources of income not only for the duration of the Project but also for similar projects in the area in the future.