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Job Special Report4

It is unfortunate that in Pakistan our system of education is not oriented towards producing educated youths, having occupational skills. Education has had a disappointing relationship to future job prospects for many students, with the result that frustration is high and emigration of trained people is common. Ensuring the return home of Pakistanis sent abroad for higher degrees is also a problem. Special incentives in land and salaries have been provided to attract overseas Pakistanis back to the country. Many companies have moved operations to places with cheap, relatively poorly educated labour. What is crucial, they say, is the dependability of a labour force and how well it can be managed and trained not its general educational level, although a small cadre of highly educated creative people are essential to innovation and growth. Ending discrimination and changing values are probably more important than reading in moving low-income families into the middle class.

The current training gaps that now exist have reached a critical stage. Public sector programmes of training are grossly inadequate and government incentives for private sector training do not seem to work. It is quiet clear that much of the training required to mould our young human resources has to be from the private sector. A bold and imaginative thinking must go into generating such training facilities, capacities and programmes in the private sector.

Pakistan's human resource community is lagging behind in their understanding of globalization requirements and the development of appropriate technologies to deal with them. In an increasingly complex economy, Pakistan with present approach will continue to lose competitive ground to foreign nations unless the country switches to a strategy of better educated, better trained employees with global orientation and with more productive forms of work organization. Organizations should be developed that are consumer driven, quality-focused and globally effective. In this way, organizations will strive to restore a nation's competitiveness and assist in ensuring its continued prosperity in the new millennium. The time has come for an integrated effort to ensure that business leaders will have the management and cross-cultural skills necessary to compete on a global basis.

Pakistan's HR community has evolutionary thinking approach. What is needed is a revolutionary approach in convincing management that they can deliver strategic results with positive attitude and multi-dimensional approach. An approach that shifts emphasis from HR traditional focus as expert administrators, toward developing a multi-skilled, multi-functional department that add value to the organization as a whole. To gain entree into the upper-echelons of business and get the ear of the CEO and a seat at the boardroom table you've got to be able to speak their language. It means cross-training to acquire new business skills that will not only help reinvigorate HR, and make it more visible in the corporate structure, but also encourage other managers to recognize how leading-edge people management can benefit all areas of business planning.

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