Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board, Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: While celebrating the success of empowering 3000 women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on employable digital skills under Women Empowerment Through Digital Skills Program, a graduation ceremony was held at Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board, Peshawar, which was attended by hundreds of females from seven districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The event included employers and other notable dignitaries while the chief guest of this event was Honourable Minister for Science, Technology and IT, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Mr. Atif Khan
Amid the COVID-19, KP Youth Employment Program, the flagship program of KP IT Board, started an initiative named “Women Empowerment through Digital Skills,” which aimed to ensure women’s inclusion in the digital economy. The project was supported by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board, funded by Multi-Donor Trust Fund and The World Bank.
Tech Valley, along with DEMO, being the advocate of women empowerment in the region and known for its capacity-building programs, progressed to implement this program in the seven districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The goal was to empower 3000 women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with skills – like graphic designing, social media marketing, WordPress design & development, blogging & content writing, and digital tools for productivity – and promote financial independence of these women by providing them employment opportunities through digital jobs.
Apart from designing the content of these courses with the help of known industry experts of their respective fields, Tech Valley also reached out to its partner Google to design the curriculum of “Digital Tools for productivity”. After localizing the content provided by Google, the course was incorporated into the program that consisted of training on project management and collaboration skills using the latest available tools.
“The program was well-coordinated, the trainers and coordinators were very helpful. The content was structured to keep us engaged throughout the program. The skills I learned from the program have helped me promote my business online”, says one of the program’s participants.
The program was delivered through an online management system that consisted of video lessons, assignments, quizzes, and online training sessions that provided a platform for females to interact with the trainers and ask questions. The program also included mentorship sessions from human resource experts and career counselors and freelancing sessions that consisted of tips and techniques to land a gig on different freelancing platforms.
While appreciating the efforts of the team and the success of the program, Minister of Science, Technology and IT, Mr. Atif Khan, discussed the government’s plans, “We are planning to train 1 Lac people in multiple levels of digital skills. The government is willing to invest as much as it can in filling the gap in the IT industry by training its youth in IT skills.”
Managing Director Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT Board, Dr. Sahibzada Ali Mahmud, congratulated the program participants and said, “Our women have unlimited potential, and by learning these skills, they can do jobs at the convenience of their own home.” He also added that “The digital economy has a lot more to offer to the youth of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and we are working to bridge this gap by helping youth master different digital skills.”
CEO Tech Valley, Umar Farooq, expressed gratitude to the KP IT Board and donors of the program, i.e., multi-donor trust fund and the world bank. He also stressed the importance of digital skills and nourishing the digital economy. He said, “Digital Skills are important for youth, but the dream of digital Pakistan cannot be fulfilled until the government provides prerequisites, i.e., tax subsidy on digital gadgets, providing subsidised internet packages for youth & establishing free internet zones.”
Madiha Hamid, CEO DEMO added, “Women are the pillar for Economic growth for Pakistan. These Digital Skills training have enabled women to earn and become financially independent and contribute to their household income.We hope that more women step up and take the challenge and equip themselves with the skills of future”
As the world is going digital, the youth must master in-demand digital skills to play a crucial role in uplifting the digital economy. Through programs like these, the government and the partners aim to enhance the skill set of youth to better equip them with the needs of the current and future digital job market.