So far, all of CPEC’s developmental projects have used China’s labor mostly because Pakistan lacks semi-skilled labor. CPEC is a great opportunity for Pakistan to get its labor trained. It’d be easier to explain the significance of this opportunity with the help of The Three Gorges Dam example.
The Three Gorges Dam is one of China’s biggest dams. While the plan for its construction was still in discussion phase, the head of US Bureau of Reclamation visited the site and presented a proposal to the Chinese government. The government accepted this proposal under one condition, that the department will teach Chinese personnel how to do the job. The condition was met and around 50 Chinese engineers were trained in the US to head this project. This step eventually lead China to build hundreds of dams.
If lead in the right direction, CPEC can be Pakistan’s Three Gorges Dam. Not only will it train our labor, it will also help in changing the misconception we all have regarding manual labor jobs. Hopefully, a trend of Trade Schools around the country might also be one of the expected benefits.
Right now, Pakistan doesn’t have much Trade Schools. The reason for this is the elitist mindset of our nation where an expensive and redundant degree is preferred over a blue collar job only because it gets you a little cultural capital, i.e. marriage proposals. Therefore, when CPEC changes this misconception, new opportunities and career options will become available for the country’s youth.
The burden of time wastage, money wastage, student debts and lack of jobs will be lifted off and our youth will be able to fulfil this need of qualified and skilled blue collar jobs in the market. Trade Schools provide you with hands on experience, industry specific internships, and a graduation degree too. Therefore, this much needed change in our attitudes towards blue collar working class and learning a trade can take place through CPEC if lead in the right direction.