100,000 students to have Internship opportunities through Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority Internship Programme

Lahore, November 08, 2013 (PPI-OT): Over 100,000 students will have internship facility this year under the internship program developed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) through a unique portal;”internship.smeda.org”, which was launched by Mr. Shafqat Hussain Naghmi, Federal Secretary Industries and Production today at a local hotel. Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA delivered address of welcome to the large number of participants representing academia and the business community.

Engn. Sohail Lashari, President LCCI, Mr. Arif Saeed, former Chairman Lahore Stock Exchange and Dr. Mujahid Kamran, Vice Chancellor, Punjab University also addressed the ceremony.

Speaking as Chief Guest on this occasion, the Federal Secretary Mr. Shafqat Hussain Naghmi said that Pakistan, being the 6th largest country with over 60 percent of its population below the age of 30, was facing a great challenge of employment generation at mass level. The demographic projections show that this ‘youth bulge’ will continue to dominate the population for another 30–35 years.

Therefore, in face of the perpetually shrinking job opportunities in both the private and public sectors, it is imperative to make quick interventions to enable the youth to become productive agents in the economy through channeling their energy, talent, and skills to right employment and training opportunities, he said and appreciated SMEDA to address this issue in its five year SME development Plan.

He said that employment generation is the key agenda of present government and SMEDA was toeing this agenda amicably. He hoped that SMEDA’s internship portal will play significant role in this regard. He assured of the fullest cooperation of government to make SMEDA’s efforts successful in achieving its target.

Engn. Sohail Lashari, President LCCI, in his address, pledged to extend the whole hearted support of the business community to turn SMEDA’s internship portal into a real success story.

Mr. Arif Saeed, former appreciated SMEDA effort and hoped that the newly launched portal would gradually be developed as the most authentic employment source for the SMEs.

Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University Dr. Mujahid Kamran expressed gratitude to SMEDA for addressing an acute problem of the graduate students. He assured of his university’s close coordination to avail of the given facility for his students.

Earlier, CEO SMEDA Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, in his address of welcome, apprised the participants about the five year SME Developed plan evolved by SMEDA. He was confident that the plan would open millions of the job opportunities for youth. He said that employment generation through entrepreneurship development was the main mission of SMEDA, which was being reflected through a number of new initiatives. SMEDA Internship Program, he said, was one of such initiatives.

CEO SMEDA told that there were 1,489,093[1] students enrolled in higher education institutions in Pakistan, whereas, the number of students enrolled in technical and vocational institutions in Pakistan during 2010-11, was 314,188[2].

A small number of these students, specifically from business schools manage to get an opportunity to undergo on-job training through internships of 4-6 six weeks; however, the majority of students do not even find such avenues so as to give them exposure to the operational side of businesses and to gain practical experience, he said. On the other hand, there are over 3.2 million SMEs and over 300 public sector organizations that require human resources for their growth and development; that signifies a huge market potential, he added.

CEO SMEDA said that the basic objective of SMEDA’s Internship Portal is to obtain demand requirements of the private sector and public sector organizations, and make them available through an e-platform for students. Once the demand is placed at the Portal, the information will be made available to students, who may directly apply for a position of their choice.

This is notable that SMEDA Internship Portal is a ‘No Cost’ e-platform for Private and Public sector organization, which provides an opportunity to access a large, diversified HR pool having the required skills, for strengthening their human capital in order to operationalize the Portal, SMEDA is already engaged with Industry, SMEs, Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Trade Associations and Public Sector Organizations to generate internship opportunities .

Mr. Adeel Rauf, SMEDA Board Member, Mian Misbahur Rehman and Mr. Farooq Iftikhar also attended the ceremony.

For more information, contact:
Liaqat Ali Gohar
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (SMEDA)
6th floor, LDA Plaza, Egerton Road, Lahore
Tel: 111-111-456
Fax: (042) 6304926
Email: helpdesk@smeda.org.pk
Website: www.smeda.org.pk

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