En­abling Women En­trepreneurs

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The Sindh Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Vo­ca­tional Train­ing Au­thor­ity (STEVTA) in Karachi func­tions un­der the Direc­torate of Man­power and Train­ing, Labour Depart­ment. STEVTA has evolved from the Tech­ni­cal Train­ing Cen­tre for Women (WTTC). The newly-formed body is a col­lec­tive setup com­pris­ing tech­ni­cal schools of the Labour Depart­ment, Vo­ca­tional and Polytech­nic In­sti­tutes of the Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment and also in­sti­tutes of the So­cial Wel­fare Depart­ment.

The Cen­tre was es­tab­lished in 1983 to ad­dress the pro­fes­sional needs of women in the fast de­vel­op­ing in­dus­trial city of Karachi. The Gov­ern­ment of Sindh and Women’s Divi­sion played a sig­nif­i­cant role in fund­ing of the in­sti­tute for pro­vid­ing a suc­cess­ful source of pre-em­ploy­ment skills to ed­u­cated women.

The Cen­tre is fa­cil­i­tated by World Bank, the Cana­dian In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment Agency (CIDA), the GTZ and Euro­pean Union as donor bod­ies. The Fed­eral Min­istry of Labour and over­seas Pak­ista­nis are also an ac­tive sup­port sys­tem for the na­tional vo­ca­tional train­ing projects run by the cen­tre. Through the in­volve­ment of CIDA, vo­ca­tional train­ing stan­dards have been made com­pli­ant with in­ter­na­tional busi­ness stan­dards.

Spread over an area of 1.4 acres, the fa­cil­ity is cus­tom-de­signed for women. It is guided by the mis­sion state­ment of pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity and em­pow­er­ment to women for ac­cess­ing em­ploy­ment or self­em­ploy­ment, fol­lowed by the goal to avoid in­con­ve­nience to them in ful­fill­ing their fam­ily obli­ga­tions.

Ini­tially the cen­tre was equipped with only three vo­ca­tional trades - civil ar­chi­tec­tural draft­ing, ra­dio/tele­vi­sion re­pair­ing and re­pair­ing of do­mes­tic elec­tri­cal ap­pli­ances. The in­cep­tion of CIDA as­sis­tance un­der NVTP phase II, en­abled the cen­tre to also of­fer com­puter soft­ware de­vel­op­ment.

When the World Bank an­nounced the es­tab­lish­ment of Cen­tral Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee in 1993; the pur­pose was to move from pub­lic part­ner­ship to pub­lic-pri­vate part­ner­ship in or­der to of­fer de­mand-driven vo­ca­tional train­ing prospects rather than sup­ply driven train­ing. CMC is a tri­par­tite body com­pris­ing em­ployer’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives, worker’s rep­re­sen­ta­tives and gov­ern­ment rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

Ms. Perveen A. Shaikh chairs the body. She is the em­ployer from the lo­cal lead­ing in­dus­try nom­i­nated by the Pro­vin­cial Train­ing Board (PTB), while Ms. Na­heed Nasir, Prin­ci­pal WTTC, is Mem­ber Sec­re­tary of CMC.

Train­ing cour­ses at the cen­tre cover a wide range from In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy, Gar­ments, Of­fice Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Ar­chi­tec­ture, In­te­rior Designing, Elec­tron­ics, Beau­ti­cian cour­ses and Arts and Crafts. The trades and cour­ses of­fered by the cen­tre have a fee struc­ture rang­ing from Rs. 100 to Rs. 1500, vary­ing ac­cord­ing to monthly and pack­age fee and par­tic­u­lar course re­quire­ments. Di­ploma cour­ses are cus­tom­ar­ily de­signed in­cor­po­rat­ing the­ory and prac­ti­cals to pro­vide ex­ten­sive work ex­pe­ri­ence to fresh grad­u­ates for easy en­trance into the job mar­ket.

The cen­tre serves as a plat­form for em­ploy­ers to seek suit­able can­di­dates for their busi­nesses. This fa­cil­ity is ba­si­cally pro­vid­ing job as­sis­tance to pass­ing out trainees of the cen­ter.

An­other sig­nif­i­cant fea­ture is the Prod­uct Dis­play and Sales Cen­tre which show­cases and sells prod­ucts pro­duced by the trainees. The dis­play cen­tre func­tions as an out­let ac­ces­si­ble to all wom­en­folk for trades such as dress designing, bed cover and cush­ion designing and cur­tain designing.

The for­mer WTTC, now STEVTA, claims to be the pi­o­neer­ing body in the vo­ca­tional train­ing sec­tor, of­fer­ing new de­mand­driven cour­ses. The fu­ture plans of the cen­tre for Di­ploma in Dig­i­tal Me­dia, Tex­tile and Crafts and Early Child­hood Ed­u­ca­tional Train­ing and the es­tab­lish­ment of a Day­care Cen­tre, are promis­ing prospects for sus­tained de­vel­op­ment.

STEVTA is cer­tainly lever­ag­ing ef­forts of the gov­ern­ment to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for women to em­brace change and prac­tice so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity

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