Lahore, March 02, 2020: Amal Academy, an education start-up founded out of Stanford University held their 15th graduation ceremony for over 1,080 university students at UET Lahore. This is the second year of collaboration between Amal Academy and PepsiCo aimed at providing university students with professional skills to prepare them for their future careers.
This three-month ‘PepsiCo- Amal collaboration on Youth’ program is anchored in developing professional skills of university graduates for them to gain meaningful employment.
Pakistan’s growing youth is actively seeking employment opportunities. Despite technical expertise, the key workplace barrier to entry is the professional skills gap. The ‘PepsiCo-Amal collaboration on Youth’ program aims to address this gap.
This investment is part of PepsiCo’s broader social impact commitment in Pakistan. Most recently PepsiCo announced its intention to invest Rs 775 million in social programs in Pakistan over the next 3 years. Investment in social impact is part of the company’s broader vision to be the global leader in convenient foods and beverages by Winning with Purpose. One portion of the investment will support the government’s Kamyab Jawan program, by expanding its existing support for youth employment and skills development through the Amal- PepsiCo collaboration on youth.
The PepsiCo-Amal collaboration on youth program was launched in 2019 in Punjab. In the first year of the program, over 1,000 students went through the professional technical and soft skills training. 30 percent of the graduates were women. 70 percent of job seeking students received an employment offer within three months of graduating. In 2020, with PepsiCo’s support, Amal Academy has expanded to Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and aims to double the impact by training over 2,000 students.
The graduation ceremony at UET was attended by Chairman Punjab Higher Education Commission, Dr. Fazal Ahmed Khalid, and esteemed members of the Academia including the Vice Chancellors and faculty members of universities in Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar. Since its inception in 2013, over 4,300 students have graduated from Amal Academy.
While speaking on the importance of youth skills development, Chairman PHEC, Dr. Fazal Ahmed Khalid said, “We are proud to be partnering with Amal Academy and PepsiCo to bring this program to the youth of Pakistan; we must look beyond conventional means to ensure our next generation is equipped with the skills that will help uplift the country.”
Mr. Furqan Ahmed Syed, CEO PepsiCo Pakistan and Afghanistan spoke about the company’s vision to support the country’s youth.
“We are proud to support Amal Academy and align ourselves with the Pakistan government’s ‘Kamyab Jawan Program’ by supporting youth employment and skills development. This commitment to our country’s future is part of our “Winning with Purpose” and in line with our mission to be In Pakistan, with Pakistan and for Pakistan. It also reflects PepsiCo’s ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business.”
Mr. Benje Williams, Cofounder Amal Academy, congratulated the graduating fellows and Amal team, and thanked PepsiCo, Chairman PHEC and Vice Chancellors of partner universities for their vision and support. “There are many reasons to look at society today and feel pessimistic, but each of you are reasons to feel hopeful. The process of reaching your full potential is a long one, and we are honoured to be on the journey with you,” he said addressing the crowd at the graduation ceremony.