ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and Saudi officials on Monday discussed enhancing cooperation in the technical and vocational training sectors, a statement from the Pakistani education ministry said.
Pakistani education minister Shafqat Mahmood is currently in Riyadh on the invitation of his Saudi counterpart Hamad bin Mohammed Al-Sheikh. On Sunday, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia signed two agreements on worker recruitment and skill verification to protect Pakistani nationals in the kingdom.
Saudi Arabia is home to over 2.5 million Pakistani expatriates and one of the largest sources of remittance to the South Asian nation.
On Monday, Mahmood visited the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) headquarters in Riyadh where he was received by TVTC governor Dr. Ahmed Bin Fahd Al-Fuhaid.
To enhance cooperation in technical and vocational training stream, an understanding was reached that
“both sides will workout a cooperation to determine benchmarking in certifications.”
“This will allow both countries to understand each others skills sector, requirements and trainings,” the education ministry’s statement said. “TVTC, KSA [Kingdom of Saudi Arabia] will offer advanced training programs for Pakistani students through its digital colleges.”
The two countries also decided to develop a system whereby experts in various fields from Pakistan would come to train Saudi teachers and vice versa.
The Pakistani minister also visited the Imam Mohammad ibn Saud Islamic University, Riyadh, where he was received by the president of the university, Prof. Ahmed S. Al-Aameri.
Mahmood said Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission would work closely with the university to improve “contemporary curriculum.”
“Both sides also agreed for faculty exchanges, trainings and organizing scholarly conferences for addressing the pressing issues,” the statement said.
In a separate statement, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said an agreement on a skill verification program between the two countries covered the certification of skills and the required qualifications of Pakistani workers seeking employment in the kingdom.
The foreign office said the agreement on skill verification would “enhance export of skilled and certified Pakistani workforce to the Kingdom.”
“Certification for our skilled manpower will create opportunities for technical workforce in Pakistan to get internationally recognized trainings and certifications,” the FO statement said.