February 19th, 2020: PepsiCo Pakistan, University of Peshawar (UOP) and Amal Academy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Peshawar. Vice Chancellor University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Asif Khan, Ali Siddiq, COO Amal Academy and Syed Khurram Shah, Head of Public Policy and Government Affairs PepsiCo signed the MoU, to support PepsiCo and Amal Academy’s collaboration on youth skills development.
Pakistan’s growing youth is seeking employment opportunities. However, multiple surveys with employers indicate that while most graduates have sound technical skills there is a professional skills gap. This reduces the graduates’ chances of getting hired. It is imperative for the private sector to work with Pakistan’s academia, and with the support from the government to ensure that graduates have the chance to develop the skills and mindsets that are critical to achieve their potential. These partnerships are also critical to help young people successfully transition from their academic life into meaningful jobs and careers.
PepsiCo Pakistan in collaboration with Amal Academy is spearheading a professional skills development program with Amal Academy. In 2019 this collaboration saw the launch of the pilot program with in Punjab and Sindh with promising results. 1,000 university students graduated from the program, 34% of which were women. 70 percent of job seeking graduates were offered employment within three months of completing the program. In 2020, The program has been expanded to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The aim is to enroll 2,000 young men and women. The MoU with University of Peshawar is an endeavor towards that expansion.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Muhammad Asif Khan commented, “The University of Peshawar as a mother institution of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and flagship educational institution of the country is committed to providing an enabling curricular and co-curricular environment. We look forward to partnering with Amal Academy and PepsiCo Pakistan in supporting the students at UoP in achieving their ambitions, building professional capacity and helping them be successful in their career. We hope this MoU will pave the way for every graduating student of Peshawar University to take advantage of this Career-Prep Fellowship program”.
Mr. Ali Siddiq, COO Amal Academy said, “We are delighted to be partnering with the University of Peshawar, as we expand into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Students in KP have enormous potential and with PepsiCo’s support we are excited to empower students to help fulfill this potential as we look to bridge the industry-academia gap in the province. The students at the UoP stands to benefit a great deal from this partnership. Amal Academy would like to thank the Hon’ble Vice Chancellor and the Career Development Centre for their support and for supporting the Amal cause”.
Speaking at the occasion, Mr. Khurram Shah, Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy PepsiCo said, “We are honored to partner with the esteemed University of Peshawar to launch a professional skills development program in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. We are hopeful this program will enhance employability skills of university graduates. This collaboration builds on our Winning with Purpose agenda which focuses on unleashing potential by pivoting towards sustainable growth by doing good for the planet and our communities. It is imperative that we work together to address the unemployment challenge in Pakistan, and I want to thank the honorable Vice Chancellor for taking it on with us”.