Key Discussion Themes

Human and Skills Development

Punjab is amongst the most populated regions of the world. In terms of population, it is equivalent to 13th largest country. Punjab is experiencing youth bulge, as two third of its population is under 30 years of age. This is generally considered to be the huge economic dividend - having large number of people entering the labour force market with diverse knowledge and skill sets. Nevertheless, they need to be educated, trained and skilled for improved employability. Empirical evidence has suggested that investments in education, training, and research contribute to the productivity and yield with continuing returns that are higher than the investments in physical capital.

Better access to quality employment and job creation is at the heart of the Government of Punjab’s Growth Strategy 2018. The Strategy recognizes human capital development as a critical path to achieve this objective. At the Punjab Economic Forum, the guest speakers will try to explore and develop blueprint for a stronger, more resilient and economically vibrant Punjab based on the demographic structure of the Punjab’s population and its changing patterns. Ways and means to convert the demographic bulge into a demographic dividend will be discussed by the first speaker. The speakers would also try to build an understanding of the structural and technological changes that are taking place to see their effect on the employment situation in the longer run. Besides macro policy, there is a need to address two key elements. Firstly, the industrial strategy and the sectoral strategy need due consideration in terms of their potential for job creation. Secondly, skills framework need to be connected to the envisaged employment impact of industrial and sectoral strategies. The second speaker would shed light on the nature of industrial and sectoral strategies which will result in higher employability.

To implement the industrial and sectoral policies effectively, we require a jobs-skills matching process taking place whereby people who are coming on to the job market have the requisite skills and education to get absorbed in jobs that are being created through a focused strategy of job-led economic growth and development. The third speaker would highlight these aspects in the session on Human and Skills Development.