Ignite’s DigiSkills Program Inaugurated: Targeting 1mn Freelancers in Pakistan

Ignite National Technology Fund, (formerly known as the National ICT R&D Fund), initiated a DigiSkills program, that is all set to train 1 million freelancers across Pakistan through online modules.

Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi inaugurated the training program here in the federal capital. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the PM stressed on the importance of equipping our nation with information technology tools and skills, as he believes this is the most important contribution that can be made.

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Ms. Anusha Rahman, while addressing the ceremony reiterated the importance of DigiSkills as a national program, creating employment opportunities for the youth, and getting international exposure on their work through global clients.

In a public announcement regarding the launch of the program, CEO Ignite, Mr. Yusuf Hussain, who is the driving force of this initiative shared,

We look forward to working with implementation partner Virtual University of Pakistan, and with Telenor Pakistan, who will provide reduced cost mobile broadband packages to trainees, PTCL, who will provide reduced cost home broadband connections and hosting, and Akhuwat, who will provide interest-free loans of Rs 100,000.

First iteration of the portal will launch in 3.5 months. Meanwhile, after watching the video, if you are interested in the initial course content e.g. graphics design, digital marketing and freelancing, then signup at www.digiskills.pk, and you will get an email/sms before the portal launch.

This initiative is one of many led by the government to work with the private sector and lead the way to digitization and innovation. Though there may be several global platforms that are teaching digital skills, there’s no dedicated program other than the CM E-Rozgaar Program that runs through Punjab, which is targeted at local audiences. The portal DigiSkills is also offering content which is localized and will be a mix of Urdu and English.

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Though the numbers are quite high when it comes to online enrollment, one global challenge of online learning is the low completion rates. Looking at the global trends, the DigiSkills program aims to address this through coaches and better matching trainees using data analytics. In the course of time, data analytics are also to be used in identifying the most marketable skills on a continuous basis to keep up with technology and what we call the skills of the future right now!