The phenomena that is “Digiskills”

With the advent of new ICT technologies, Pakistan is now at the brink of a technology evolution. There is no more uncharted space and myriad opportunities for knowledge, networking and success are opening up with the dawn of artificial intelligence & data analytics.

The phenomena that is Digiskills

Kanwal Ashraf

MSc. Strategic Marketing, Imperial College London

Automation, digital platforms, and other innovations are changing the fundamental nature of work. Work is now being fragmented and spaced around the globe via the marvel of internet and cloud computing. This industry is expected to generate gross service revenue between $15 billion and $25 billion by 2020 as per a World Bank report, with a significant chunk taken by freelancers.

Pakistan ranks at number 3 in the global freelance market. It is predicted that this market will grow exponentially, as remote work is getting increasingly popular around the world, particularly via freelancing websites such as Upwork and Fiverr.

Surfing the waves of this 4th industrial revolution, the DigiSkills.pk Program has taken Pakistan by a storm. Launched by Ignite National Technology Fund, a company owned by Ministry of Information Technology & Telecommunication, DigiSkills.pk is Pakistan’s largest training program, through which absolutely free of cost 1 million trainings over a period of 2 years, will be given on the essential digital skills required to survive and thrive in the future of work.

Courses offered include Freelancing, E-Commerce Management, Digital Literacy, Digital Marketing, AutoCAD, WordPress, Creative Writing, QuickBooks, Graphic Design and Search Engine Optimization.

DigiSkills.pk Program has received enormous popularity, especially within the youth, and in less than 1 year, more than 532,394 trainings have already been given. On average the program is overachieving its enrollment targets by 90% in every batch.

To cater to this overwhelming response from across the country, DigiSkills.pk is continuously working to increase capacity and resources quickly.

Batch

Target Enrollments

Actual Enrollments

Batch-1

20,000

30,804

Batch-2

30,000

81,119

Batch-3

100,000

200,331

Batch-4

160,000

220,000

A survey conducted after completion of first two batches reveals that a total of $306,352 earnings have been generated. Based on which, at the end of two years the programme is estimated to generate approximately $390 million. This not only benefits the individuals but also tremendously strengthens the foreign exchange reserve of Pakistan.

The success of DigiSkills.pk can be attributed to not only its high demand in the market but also to the processes and quality checks behind the curtain. Ignite is working with three partners in a symbiotic manner to ensure a cohesive and seamless project working.

The DigiSkills phenomena is responsible for providing a web-based training platform and Learning Management System, along with development of necessary training content. The DigiSkills Outreach component is responsible for advocacy and enabling trainees to enroll in the most cost effective methods available.

The third component of DigiSkills is Monitoring & Evaluation which uses artificial intelligence and data analytics for performance optimization to incorporate insights learnt on an on-going basis to enable continual learning and improvement.

The DigiSkills.pk is a unique platform from all other online training programs and has surpassed other blended training programs being offered in Pakistan, in terms of revenue earned and number of people trained.

The program has penetrated throughout the country with 22% of female inclusion, which is rapidly with the help of collaborators and enablers such as are Akhuwat, PTCL, Pakistan Bait ul Maal, STEP, DYKB, UNDP and various other educational institutions etc.

With this program in place, Pakistan is bound to conquer the global freelancing market; ultimately resulting in the economic growth and prosperity.

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