Broad range impacts of a government backed Freelance training initiative (E-Rozgaar)

Jawaria Usman

Pakistan lies among the growing economies of the world. In order to enhance the pace of its growth, best strategies should be adopted while considering the key elements that account for this development process. The two leading components that compliments the development and progress of a country are the local assets and the global trends. Within the local regime, the best asset that a country possesses is its youth. While at the worldwide scale, the challenging global environment is usually the most important impacting factor that reshapes the fate of the growing economies around the world. The ever evolving world trends redirect the youth’s energy to align the local development processes with the global regimes. Evolving global trends not only affect the countries’ assets in terms of revenue and task force but they also affect the local populations on social and psychological grounds in the long run.

One of the most significant global trend these days is self-employment or precisely “The freelancing’’. Worldwide, the freelance work or the gig economy is a rapidly growing employment trend. Freelance industry has transformed the overall pattern of employment throughout the world. Thus it is an important sector where Pakistani youth should invest its time and energy for global recognition.

In order to meet the current international standards and demands regarding digital skills and freelancing, Punjab Government launched a training program under Punjab Information Technology Board, entitled as e-Rozgar in 2017. The training covers 36 districts in Punjab with 40 working centres that deliver free of cost practical training related to freelance work and digital skills. 

This initiative is impacting the local lives through myriads of ways. The first and foremost impact of this training is revenue generation. Within the time period of eight months, the total revenue generated through this initiative has reached PKR 3.75 crores. Diverting the unemployed youth towards freelancing is automatically diminishing the poverty at the local scale. The educated young generation starving for well paid jobs avail through this training, earn handsome amount of money in dignified manner and ultimately adds up to the reduction of current poverty state.

This program is not only impacting the youth in monetary perspective but it is also creating some deep-rooted, long-term psychological effects e.g. minimizing frustration among the unemployed youth. The educated youngsters who remain unemployed gets frustrated, depressed and disheartened when they do not succeed in getting their dream jobs. This training reinforces the educated youth to earn well through freelancing, develop variety of skills through specified domains and promote entrepreneurial culture that diverts youths’ potentials for constructive purposes. This energy diversion definitely make the youth more confident, self-reliant and constructive asset for a progressing economy.

e-Rozgar is also polishing the local talent through skill development. The long term impact of developing digital, creative and entrepreneurial skill set for surviving and competing in an ever changing world is obvious in this regard. This skill development training is also catering to shift the vision of Pakistani youth from survival mode to the learning and progress mode. This is one of the best seed this training is sowing for the long-term benefit of the whole country.

Another important long-term effect is the social one. This program is empowering both the genders i.e. men and women equally. The online freelance work enable the stay-at-home mothers, the physically challenged men and women and the culturally-ridden people who cannot go for the site-specific, time bound 9-5 jobs. The training is not only limited to the urban populations, the rural populations are also getting the same benefits.

Unemployment has long been a very fragile point when it comes as a dispute arising issue between the educated youth and the local government. This program is acting as a link-crafting tool for building trust between the local government and the unemployed youth as it bridges the gap between the youngsters and the government officials. It clearly indicate that the government is not turning a deaf ear to the existing problems faced by the Pakistan youth.

Last but not the least, this program is creating a softer image of Pakistan. Through global connectivity, talented Pakistani professionals represent their country on the international forums and earn respect for themselves and their homeland. These freelance writers, developers, designers and entrepreneurs are also promoting Pakistani culture through marketing of local products in the global markets, sharing information through blogs and developing tourism by introducing Pakistan at the international scale through their work.

This training program is just the beginning of a journey towards making Pakistan a stand out in the global regime. A well-resourced Pakistani youth is the key element for fulfilling this progressive dream. In order to fully utilize the potentials of Pakistani youth, this training initiative should be expanded to cover up the other regions of Pakistan.