Ejaz Khan has a jewellery business in Idar-Oberstein, a town famous for its gemstones industry in Germany. But he’s now back in Peshawar to do a four-month course in gemstone faceting and polishing at the Gems and Jewellery Training & Manufacturing Centre (GJTMC). This will be a great benefit to me in my business back in Germany, he says.
Set up in 2011 and equipped with all the latest technologies from Germany and Japan, GJTMC is one of the first 29 training institutions that TUSDEC has contracted as part of an EU funded project to provide courses to upgrade the skills of 12,000 young people in KPK and FATA in a range of trades for which there is a demand, thereby helping them find employment that provides a sustainable income.
GJTMC has agreed to provide courses in 4 trades: gemstone polishing and faceting; gemstone carving, computer aided jewellery design, and jewellery crafting (wire wrapping). The courses will be free of charge to the students – the EU is footing the bill.
The training centre was set up in 2011 by the Pakistani government as part of its effort to develop local capacity and make more of the Province’s abundant natural gemstone resources.
In this state of the art institution the students of computer aided jewellery designs even have 3D printers at their disposal to print out models of their designs, because the school recognizes that to train productive employees students must learn to use the equipment that top businesses use.
Mr. Ilyas Shah Kakakhail, an established gemologist, was appointed school principal, and he warmly welcomes the EU initiative to develop the skills of local people in trades for which there is a demand, such as the gems industry. Pakistan has the 5th biggest resources in gems in the world, he pointed out, but traditionally the stones are exported in raw form for polishing and cutting elsewhere, so both the jobs and the value were being developed outside the country. “This is all because we lack the skills and equipment at home”. Meanwhile countries like Thailand, Germany, the Netherlands are associated with quality gems, even though they have little or no natural gemstone resources”.
Mr. Shahzad Sabz Ali was very happy to cooperate with the EU-funded project implemented by TUSDEC‘Supporting TVET sector for the socio-economic uplift of rural marginalized communities in Pakistan’. The course is a very useful introduction to key skills. And although he pointed out it takes five to six years of on-the-job training before the trainee will reach master level, he said there is plenty of demand for the less skilled workers, including demand for beads, which girls could easily make in their villages.
TUSDEC is also negotiating with leading jewelry companies to place the graduates in internships.
Supporting TVET Sector in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & FATA
Contributions and Aim:
Total budget of the project is
EUR 3934,072.21. TUSDEC first spoke with local employers and identified 70 trades for which there is a demand, and furthermore which skills employers are looking for in those trades. It then reviewed 562 training institutes and identified 153 which have the capacity to provide such training with support in terms of curricula, training of trainers and equipment. It is the goal of the TUSDEC to ensure that all training institutes it works with should be accredited with the Trade Testing Board and ultimately Navtec so that the trainees will receive recognized certificates.