World TVET Database - Country Profiles

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TVET Country Profile
1. TVET mission
2. System
3. Governance and financing
4. TVET teachers and trainers
5. Qualifications
6. Projects
7. Statistical information
8. Links
9. References
published: 2013-11-06

1. TVET mission, legislation and national policy or strategy

TVET mission

The TVET mission as defined by the Ministry of Education (MoE) is to provide trained and skilled manpower as required by the Pakistani labour market.

TVET strategy

The National Skills Strategy 2009-2013 (NSS) has proposed a paradigm shift from curriculum-based education to competency-based training. It has envisioned provision of relevant skills for industrial and economic development, improvement of access, equity and employability and assurance of quality through an integrated approach.

The NSS has set out three objectives and has proposed certain reform areas in order to attain those objectives. The three objectives have been:

  • Providing relevant skills for industrial and economic development
  • Improving access, equity and employability
  • Assuring quality
The NSS has been developed with the cooperation of, and in extensive consultation with, various stakeholders including local and international experts, relevant ministries, provincial governments, training providers, trainees, private sector associations and Chambers of Commerce.

National TVET Policies focus on:

  • making employment and employability the central theme of economic and social policies;
  • developing policy planning and coordination for ensuring integrated professional, vocational and technical training in accordance with international standards
  • developing a dynamic professional, vocational and technical training system to ensure horizontal and vertical linkages;
  • developing, standardising and regulating curricula, schedules, institutes and examination/ certification bodies for TVET; and
  • providing scholarships, fellowships, trainings and international assistance in professional, vocational and technical courses.
TVET legislation

  • The Constitution of 1973 provides for equality and well-being of all citizens and no discrimination on the basis of sex, caste, creed or race. Article 37 stipulates that the States shall make technical and professional education generally available and equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.
  • The Apprenticeship Ordinance of 2009 provides regulation, coordination and policy direction for TVET. It establishes the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC), and defines its management, functions, powers and related operational functions.
  • NAVTTC Act 2011 defines the funding rules for NAVTTC and Act No XV of 2011 states its core objective as to provide for Regulation, Coordination and Policy Directions for TVET.

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2. TVET formal, non-formal and informal systems

Scheme compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC from UNESCO-IBE (2010). World Data on Education. Pakistan VII Ed. 2010/11. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE.

Primary education (grades 1 – 5) starts at the age of five, lasts for five years and is followed by middle education (grades 6-8). Secondary education is divided into two levels; secondary education (grades 9-10) provided in high schools, and higher secondary level (grades 11-12) provided in higher secondary schools and degree colleges.

At the end of grade 12, students sit the Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) which is a prerequisite for admission to tertiary education. Higher education is offered in universities and colleges.

Formal TVET system

Vocational courses are offered in general schools, by introducing the scheme “Agro-Technical Studies” vocational subjects are offered in general schools starting from grade five and upward until grade ten. Since 2000, vocational subjects are offered in selected secondary schools in parallel to the existing subjects.

Post-secondary TVET programmes (named Technical Education in Pakistan) are offered in polytechnic institutions and colleges of technology. These programmes focus on theoretical knowledge and practical skills of technicians in workshops, factories, companies, and organisations.

TVET non-formal and informal TVET systems

The non-formal sector is mainly run by public sector autonomous organisations and it covers vocational schools, technical training centres, agriculture and vocational training centres. The apprenticeship system that was established 1962 is considered part of the non-formal sector of TVET.

The informal sector is the traditional (Ustad- Shagird) system whereby anyone, including school leavers or people with low-level or no qualifications can be trained under the supervision of a mechanic/owner of the shop/small cottage industry. A large proportion of Pakistan’s labour force is employed in the informal economy with a growing percentage of women.

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3. Governance and financing


The Federal Ministry of Education (MOE) is responsible for TVET general policy planning, coordination and overall guidelines including curricula, textbooks, and standards of education. Some TVET activities are under the federal and the provincial Ministries of Industries, Ministries of Labour and Manpower, and Ministries of Agriculture.

The four Provincial Education Departments (PEDs) one in each provincial Capital, are responsible for the implementation of policies, programmes and projects set by the federal MOE.

The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) is a Federal Apex Body which regulates, facilitates and provides policy direction in TVET. The Commission establishes and promotes linkages among national and international TVET stakeholders. It also creates uniformity in systems and procedures of all TVET institutions across Pakistan. Its purpose is therefore to improve standards and introduce Quality Assurance Mechanism to TVET Institutions. The mission of NAVTTC is to provide direction, support and an enabling environment to the public and private sectors in order to implement training for skills development.

NAVTTC focuses on:

  • National policies, strategies and regulations;
  • The National Qualification Framework (NQF);
  • Accreditation, certification, skill standards and curricula;
  • Performance evaluation system;
  • TVET Development through public-private partnership; and
  • Labour market information system.
Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities (TEVTAs), through the provincial governments, are authorised to implement national TVET policies, programmes and projects. Their major function is to impart training and provide infrastructure and administrative facilities. TEVTAs are responsible for setting their own skill standards, developing curricula and certifying courses at provincial levels.

Boards of Technical Education and Trade Testing Boards (BTE/TTB) are Provincial Exam and Certification Bodies, with the objective to affiliate public and private institutions in the Province and prescribe courses, competency-based curricula and syllabi of NAVTTC. BTE/TTB are authorised to conduct all final exams pertaining to TVET.


TVET in Pakistan is funded through budget allocations. As additional funding sources are required to fully cover the needs, the NSS has recommended to consider the introduction of a training levy paid by employers.

NAVTTEC works with TEVTAs to mobilise new financial resources through ways of involving the private sector and encouraging TVET institutions to introduce revenue-generating activities.

Chart extracted from National Vocational and Technical Education commission publication: The National Skills Strategy (2009 – 2013) 2009.

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4. TVET teachers and trainers

There are eleven Staff Training Institutes (STIs) responsible for training and development of TVET teachers in Pakistan. The TVET sector is regarded as the most volatile stream of education where technologies change rapidly and updating oneself in response to these changes is indispensable for teachers who are ultimate knowledge transmitters.

The National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) is in the process of establishing the National Technical & Vocational Teacher’s Council (NTVTC) as an advisory body for quality enhancement of teaching and promotion in TVET.

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5. Qualifications and qualifications frameworks

Vocational institutions offer one-year certificates and two-year diploma courses in various trades. Commercial training institutions train manpower for the business sector and offer one-year Certificates in Commerce (C.Com) and two-year diplomas in commerce (D.Com). Mono/polytechnic institutions and colleges of technology offer three-year diploma programmes in over twenty specialisations.

TVET qualifications in Pakistan are divided into three categories as illustrated in the following scheme:

Scheme extracted from National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) Pakistan (2012).

National Qualifications Framework (NQF)

A draft National Vocational Qualification Framework (NVQF) has been established and entered the testing phase in June 2013. NVQF aims to exhibit easy entry and exit points, establish a credit rating system, determine equivalence to general education at all levels, and define proper assessment procedures for the recognition of prior learning (RPL). In addition, NVQF provides for progression paths from secondary to post-secondary courses

Quality assurance

Two bodies from within the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) are responsible for institutional accreditation.

  • NAVTCC TVET Accreditation & Quality Evaluation Committee (TA&QEC) is responsible for carrying out assessment of TVET institutions and evaluating their governance, management, teaching and learning, faculty and staff, research and development, extension, consultancy and linkages, resources and support to students.
  • Expert Committee for Accreditation and Quality Evaluation assists TA&QEC in its tasks. A panel of subject experts is drawn to constitute the site visiting teams for undertaking evaluation of programmes. Programme experts are responsible for evaluation of individual programmes. Usually, there are two academic experts for each programme accompanied by an industry member or a relevant organisation that joins the experts on their final visit.
National Accreditation Council for Technical and Vocational Stream Regulations (NACTVSRs:

NAVTTC after consultation with Higher Education Commission, Provincial TEVTAs, Private Sector, Pakistan Engineering Council, Boards of Technical Education and Trade Testing Boards (BTE/TTB), and other relevant stakeholders has framed regulations to expedite the process of accreditation across Pakistan. NACTVSRs came into force in July 2013 and their implementation is guided, monitored and supervised by the Director General Accreditation and Certification of NAVTTC.

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6. Current and ongoing reforms, projects, and challenges

Current reforms and major projects

In April 2010, the five-year TVET Reform Support Program (RSP) was launched to assist the Pakistani government in implementing the National Skills Strategy 2009-2013 (NSS). The programme is jointly funded by the European Union, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Federal Republic of Germany. The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) implements the programme in partnership with the National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC) and in close cooperation with TEVTAs and the private sector.

Financial contributions from the partners are:

European Union 25.400 Million EUR
Kingdom of the Netherlands 15.000 Million EUR
Federal Republic of Germany 2.000 Million EUR
Total sum 42.400 Million EUR

The TVET Reform Support Programme is implemented through three components as follows:

  • Governance - It aims to improve TVET institutional structures and develop a well-functioning coordination mechanism between stakeholders at federal and provincial levels. Activities under this component focus on the development of a quality assurance system as a sound foundation for quality delivery of TVET.
  • National Qualification Framework (NQF) and human resource development - It tackles areas of TVET service delivery, relevancy and quality. Core activities under this component are the development of NQF and in-service and pre-service TVET teacher trainings.
  • Effective and innovative training delivery and labour market information and service - It aims to increase the relevance of TVET by strengthening the use of labour market data for making decisions regarding TVET sector development.

One of the current challenges facing the system is the rather unclear definition of roles and boundaries between different TVET agencies, as well as, in some cases, the work of some international donors. Partly to address that, NAVTTC, TEVTAs, and BTE/TTB agreed in 2003 to have a TVET Regulatory Framework to precisely define roles and identify their specific functions.

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7. Statistical information(*)

Population (Million)







Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2010

+1.88 %

For comparison:
Global average yearly population growth rate 2005-2010: 1.17%
77.68 80.97
female male  
79.16 82.35
female male  
80.68 83.77
female male  
82.22 85.22
female male  
83.79 86.71
female male  
85.36 88.24
female male  

48.96 %

49.01 %

49.06 %

49.11 %

49.14 %

49.17 %

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UN ESA: World Population Prospects/ the 2010 revision

GDP per capita (currency: US$)












1 019

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on World Bank database

Employment (Million)

total female male


85.36 88.24
Labour Force
Labour Force Rate




Labour Force


9.99 (20.4%) 38.85 (79.6%)
Unemployment Rate






0.87 (35.7%) 1.56 (64.3%)

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on ILO: Key indicators of the labour market

Participation in TVET (% of upper secondary)















Average yearly population growth rate 2005 - 2011

+4.76 %

6 7
female male  
8 9
female male  
7 10
female male  
7 10
female male  
9 10
female male  
9 9
female male  
10 9
female male  
(ratio 46.2 %) (ratio 47.1 %) (ratio 41.2 %) (ratio 41.2 %) (ratio 47.4 %) (ratio 50 %) (ratio 52.6 %)

Table compiled by UNESCO-UNEVOC based on UNESCO Institute for Statistics, Data Centre-beta Country Profiles

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8. Links to UNEVOC centres and TVET institutions

UNEVOC Centres

TVET Institutions

Public TVET Institutions

Private TVET Institutions

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9. References, bibliography, abbreviations


  • Bokhari S. A. (2013). Country Report, Administration for Vocational Training and Education in Pakistan, Issue on Human Resource Development. Islamabad: NAVTTC.
  • Government of Pakistan (2009). Ordinance No. VI OF 2009 An Ordinance. Islamabad: Government of Pakistan. Accessed: 12 September 2013.
  • National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (2009). National Skill Strategy 2009-2013. Islamabad: Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Accessed: 12 September 2013.
  • National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (2011). NAVTTC Fund Rules (DRAFT version). Islamabad: Prime Minister’s Secretariat. Accessed: 12 September 2013.
  • National Vocational and Technical Training Commission (2012). About us. Islamabad: NAVTTC Accessed: 12 September 2013.
  • Riaz M. (2011). Pakistan. In Emerging Challenges and Trends in TVET in the Asia-Pacific Region, S. Majumdar (Ed.). pp. 157-162. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
  • TVET Reform Support Programme (2012). Introduction. Islamabad: TVET Reform Pakistan. Accessed: 12 September 2013.
  • UNESCO-IBE (2010).World Data on Education Ed. 2010/11. Pakistan. Geneva: UNESCO-IBE
Further reading


  • BTE/TTB - Boards of Technical Education and Trade Testing Boards
  • C.Com - Certificates in Commerce
  • FIT - Fund for Innovative Training
  • GIZ - German Agency for International Cooperation (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH)
  • HSSC - Higher Secondary School Certificate
  • MoE - Federal Ministry of Education
  • NACTVSRs - National Accreditation Council for Technical and Vocational Stream Regulations
  • NAVTTC - National Vocational and Technical Training Commission
  • NQF - National Qualification Framework
  • NSS - National Skills Strategy 2009-2013
  • NTVTC - National Technical & Vocational Teacher’s Council
  • NVQF - National Vocational Qualification Framework
  • PEDs - Provincial Education Departments
  • RPL - Recognition of Prior Learning
  • RSP - TVET Reform Support Program
STIs - Staff Training Institutes

TA&QEC - TVET Accreditation & Quality Evaluation Committee

TEVTAs - Technical Education and Vocational Training Authorities

ToT - Training of Trainers

Published by: UNESCO-UNEVOC
Publication Date: 2013-11-06
Validated by: Ms Syeda Adeela Bokhari;
Director General(Accreditation & Certification);
National Vocational & Technical Training Commission (NAVTTC)

page date 2018-01-19

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