Bri­tish Coun­cil's Ed­u­ca­tion UK Em­ployer's Ini­tia­tive

*So­bia Raja

The Diplomatic Insight - - Contents - *The writer works for Bri­tish coun­cil, Is­lam­abad.

Pak­istani stu­dents at UK univer­si­ties now have bet­ter ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about the Pak­istani job mar­ket than ever be­fore, thanks to a cor­po­rate ini­tia­tive by the Bri­tish Coun­cil's Ed­u­ca­tion UK (EdUK) and UK Trade & In­vest­ment (UKTI). Launched at a re­cep­tion at the Bri­tish Deputy High Com­mis­sion in Karachi in Novem­ber 2011, the scheme aims to bridge the gap be­tween the more than 10,000 Pak­ista­nis study­ing at UK in­sti­tu­tions and lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies back home. It will en­able stu­dents and po­ten­tial em­ploy­ers to meet at ca­reers fairs in the UK, fos­ter re­search into job mar­ket trends, and lead to the de­vel­op­ment of an on­line di­rec­tory of Pak­istani em­ploy­ers in­ter­ested in em­ploy­ingUK­grad­u­ates. 'This opens up new doors for grad­u­ates and em­ploy­ers alike,' said Na­dia Kam­ran Head of Ed­u­ca­tion UK in Pak­istan. 'Grad­u­ates can find job op­por­tu­ni­ties that match their skill set and com­pa­nies stand to ben­e­fit from the high stan­dards and com­pe­tence of UK qual­i­fied grad­u­ates.’ Fran­cis Camp­bell, Bri­tish Deputy High Com­mis­sioner andDirec­tor ofUKTrade& In­vest­ment, Pak­istan added: 'This cor­po­rate ini­tia­tive pro­vides or­gan­i­sa­tions with a chance to re­cruit an in­ter­na­tional-stan­dard, UK-qual­i­fied work­force.’ Tak­ing place at theUniver­si­ties of Glas­gow, Manch­ester, Brunel and Hert­ford­shire, the ca­reers fairs, which will be open to stu­dents and staff from five neigh­bour­ing univer­si­ties, will of­fer ses­sions on top­ics such as so­cial en­trepreneur­ship and the Pak­istani job mar­ket. They will be run by busi­ness lead­ers, train­ers and con­sul­tants from Pak­istan and aimed at Asian stu­dents, as well as univer­sity ca­reers ad­vis­ers. The im­proved net­work­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween UK and Pak­istani busi­nesses and univer­si­ties should give the grad­u­ates of the fu­ture a great ad­van­tage. 'We want to im­prove the pro­file of UK stu­dents who come back to Pak­istan,' s a i d E d u c a t i o n UK Man­ager Hina Baloch. 'All the stu­dents who were com­ing back to Pak­istan for the sum­mer break or af­ter their de­grees did not know where to find jobs. With the post-study work [visa] path clos­ing, a lot of stu­dents will have to come back, so we wanted to show­case UK ed­u­ca­tion as an in­vest­ment in the fu­ture.' The EdUK-UKTI ca­reers fairs will take place in early 2012.

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