Smeda launches internship programme for students
Web Portal internship.smeda.org
Lahore (Saturday, Nov 9, 2013) – One lac students will have internship facility this year under the internship program developed by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA).
Smeda would offer this programme through a unique portal;”internship.smeda.org”, which was launched in a ceremony held on Friday. Shafqat Hussain Naghmi Federal Secretary Industries and Production was the chief guest.
Smeda Chief Executive Officer Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, President Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suhail Lashari, former chairman Lahore Stock Exchange Arif Saeed and Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran were also addressed the ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Shafqat Hussain said that Pakistan being the 6th largest country with over 60 per cent of its population below the age of 30 was facing a great challenge of employment. 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 channelling 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.
Suhail Lashari while speaking on the occasion pledged to extend the whole hearted support of the business community to turn Smeda’s internship portal into a real success story.
Arif Saeed appreciated the Smeda effort and hoped that the newly launched portal would gradually be developed as the most authentic employment source for the SMEs.
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, Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera 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.
He said that there were 1,489,093 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.
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 signify a huge market potential, he added.
Sukhera 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, Trade Associations and Public Sector Organizations to generate internship opportunities.