At the sight of widespread unemployment among the educated lot of Pakistan, our prognostication of dark future had only grown stronger. One option that we had to improve the conditions of unemployment among the educated communities was to introduce new jobs. However, the global world usually offers more than one solution to the problem, and so there was a better option i.e. to promote working for the industry that never runs out of jobs. The government of Punjab in coordination with Punjab Information and Technology Board took this better option to beat unemployment. The idea was to teach freelancing to 16-year graduates of Punjab.
For the past few years, the concept of making money online has been taught immensely through the digital world. It doesn’t take a lot of time to find online freelancing courses that would cost you thousands of dollars. Yet Punjab government has generously provided a free opportunity to learn to freelance.
As of March 30th, 2016, there were more than 4.62 billion web pages on the internet, and the number is continuously growing. Be it freelancing for these web pages or offices in other parts of the world, the eRozgaar program is an excellent initiative to promote financial stability in Pakistan. The best part is that freelancing is the only industry that never runs out of jobs.
The program was divided into 3 groups. One could choose from technical, non-technical, and the creative course. As the registrations opened, more than 33,000 graduates applied for a position as a trainee. Only 10,000 got lucky, myself being one. Here’s my experience:
It was my first time to ever attend any of the government introduced programs. Initially angry at the decision of starting the program in the middle of Ramadan, when I entered the eRozgaar teaching lab, I went through the experience of comfortable room temperature settling my anger. It was such a relief to see the giant chillers placed in the lab. On top of that, the labs contain separate laptops for each trainee. Having a laptop in front of each seat has been very helpful in successful hands-on training. Projectors, comfortable seating, chillers, and laptops, all complement the professional environment of the labs.
A professional learning environment alone, however, is not sufficient for a successful program. The most important part of the success is decided by the trainers themselves. While I was initially doubtful that when these selected 10k people would create profiles on freelancing platforms, the freelance market might get down for Pakistanis. However, the doubts petered out on the orientation day. As the trainers introduced themselves, I knew that we had the best captains on the flight.
Even though I was fully satisfied from the moment the trainers introduced themselves, the satisfaction got even more so when they actually started teaching. They were nothing but twin brothers to professional instructors. From their general way of communication to the way they deliver knowledge, everything has been professional. I am not sure of the criteria for selecting the trainers, but I am happy that whatever criteria was devised, it turned out to be a huge success. These trainers are well learned and experienced when it comes to the world of freelancing. They also provide the best advice on how to avoid common mistakes related to freelancing.
The curriculum developed for this program is outstanding. As we were introduced to the freelancing platforms, the trainers not only taught how to create profiles and apply for jobs, but they also delivered information on how to boost our freelance profiles on these platforms. In short, the course is an amalgamation of theoretical knowledge and practical tips.
Another important initiative that I really appreciate about the eRozgaar program is feedback forms. At the end of each session, every student gives feedback for the trainers through Google forms. I find it way better than those printed feedback forms which only serve to occupy some extra space. Moreover, the daily feedback helps to pinpoint the shortcomings related to each lecture. Happily, I haven’t yet attended a class where my feedback was not more than satisfactory.
The story of my first class experience with the eRozgaar program doesn’t end here. There’s another feature to the program. The labs are kept open till 5 pm. Trainees can sit overtime in the labs and do their hands on training. On top of that, trainers are there after the class for group sessions as well as one on one meetings. What could have been better than this?
It has now been three weeks to the start of this program in UET Taxila centre. So far, the experience has been one of the best. In my opinion, and I can safely say it on behalf of other trainees in UET Taxila, the eRozgaar program is a wonderful initiative to help graduates start professional work from the comfort of their homes. It will empower fresh graduates to earn money based on their talent. Hats off to the masterminds behind this program.