Skills and employability in Pakistan

Pakistan has a large labour force that stands among the top 10 largest labour forces in the world, and it growing day by day. To create adequate employment opportunities for them is a huge challenge. On the other hand, employers frequently keep saying that they are unable to find workers with the appropriate skills necessary for their industries. This obviously shows that there is a mismatch between the demand and supply of skills. Women, more than men, are denied access to education and skills training and as a result, they end up mostly in low-skilled, low-paying jobs. Also, the low female participation rate in the labour market represents an impediment to inclusive economic growth.

ILO’s experience in many countries, including Pakistan, has shown that skills development can play a major role in the alleviation of poverty, when carefully planned and implemented in the context of the available and emerging employment and income-generation opportunities.

The DWCP (2016-22) very much focuses on the development of gender-responsive and market-driven skills, employment and enterprise development programmes for youth, both women and men. Some of the key strategies that are embedded in the DWCP include:

  • replicate and scale up existing good models of “Employment Information Centers” and tools for gender-responsive value chain analysis,
  • capacitate government, workers’ and employers’ organizations to promote gender-responsive skills, employment and enterprise development programmes, and
  • provide technical assistance and capacity building support for TVET system reforms to improve access to skills development and employability for youth and vulnerable categories of workers.



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