Intensive talks and large set of visits and meetings were held in Finland last week when a delegation from Pakistan visited city of Turku in Southwest Finland on 14-18 January 2019. Delegation consisted of representatives of National University of Technology (NUTECH)and Shifa International Hospitals who met with some of leading educationists and skill training experts from e.g. Turku Vocational InstituteTurku University of Applied Sciencesand University of Turku.

The visit was organized by Honorary Consulate General of Pakistan in Finland and the Education Committee of Finland Pakistan Business Council.

Concrete plans are now processed for strong development for skill training including certified Finland – Pakistan programs for hospitality sector, construction sector and healthcare. Furthermore, parties will work for various joint programs and tailored courses for higher education, including Bachelor and Masters programs and also cooperation on doctoral training and research.

Nutech delegation lead by Rector Khalid Asghar with the representatives of city of Turku and Turku Vocational Institute, TAI, lead by Mr. Hannu Immonen (centre)

“This is the next step in this process putting the partners together for world class vocational and skill training for Pakistan. There is a huge demand for certified skilled people in Pakistan and also abroad, and if we really want to create jobs for the Pakistani youth we need to get them trained in a way that matches the modern requirements and that’s what this cooperation will be all about, and definitely including teaching the teachers in Pakistan”, says Mr. Wille Eerola,Hon. Consul General of Pakistan in Finland and Chairman of Finland Pakistan Business Council, who hosted the visit with the representatives of City of Turku and educational institutes. “If the need for hospitality staff for the coming international events like Dubai 2020 and FIFA in Qatar is like tens of thousands of people, also so many from Pakistan, I believe it is time to move on now and produce trained people with a strong and recognized confirmation of quality skills through active Pakistan-Finland cooperation”.

Representatives of Shifa International Hospitals, lead by Dr. Manzoor H. Qazi with the hosts from City of Turku, lead by Mr. Hannu Immonen (centre).

“It is basically impossible to find a skilled plumber or electrician in Pakistan and whole construction sector is also something this cooperation is targeting to change. Both are areas where Finns are very good and professional so we should definitely bring that Finnish Way and attitude of excellence into Pakistan”, say Mr. Hassan Raza, Chairman of Finland Pakistan Business Council in Islamabad. “Pakistani institutes return to rekindle their relationships with Nordic Vocational Institutes, it is time to do that now – it was the 1960’s when Swedish vocational schools were introduced in Pakistan. Shifa International and Nutech University visited the city of Turku to build specialized, concrete and long term relationships with the Finnish institutes to develop vocational skills of Pakistan’s youth in construction, health care and hospitality fields along with introducing innovative skills of the future. The Finns will be sharing their best in the world educational models with the two institutes to introduce world class vocational education in the country – something that Pakistan really deserves and needs right now!”.

Visiting Finnish institutes means also real work outside, not only discussions in meeting rooms. Delegation visited a construction site run by the students and teachers of Turku Vocational Institute.

In addition to education plenty of issues related to healthcare were discussed at the meetings between Shifa International Hospital and key players in the healthcare sector in Turku and Helsinki. “Another area where team work between Finland and Pakistan would be a perfect win-win situation is certainly healthcare and I believe this is another area where we are going to see strong steps in the very near future”, Mr. Wille Eerola says. Delegation from Shifa visited e.g Institute of Dentistryand Nursing Science Departmentof Faculty of Medicine at University of Turkuand brand new learning and researching environment Medisiina D in Turku. Delegation also visited the headquarter of Planmecain Helsinki, one of the world’s leading companies in the dental sector.

Representatives of Shifa International Hospitals visited also the headquarter of Planmeca, one of the world’s leading companies in the dental sector. Visit was hosted by Mr. Heikki Kyöstilä, Founder and CEO of Planmeca,

Delegation from Finland is visiting Pakistan soon where further talks are being held. All parties have agreed to target for concrete programs and cooperation already during this spring, starting with certified programs for hospitality and construction sectors.

For more photos of the visit, please visit the HCG’s Facebook page.