As of now, 46,500 Pakistanis have worked on energy-related projects that were supported by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
According to a report recently released by China Three Gorges International titled “Overview of Pakistan’s Power Sector and its Future Outlook,” the CPEC power plants have performed admirably in increasing overall direct local employment (46,500) throughout Pakistan, considering the various economic fissures that exist in Pakistan (i.e., unequal underdevelopment, limited energy access, low human capital, and accompanying low productivity).
In addition, the skilled workforce gains from on-site training by both local and international professionals in a professional work environment that is far superior to what they would receive working on other local projects, the report claims, raising the overall socioeconomic demographic of about 46 thousand families.
It stated that every CPEC power plant was constructed as an Independent Power Producer (IPP) in accordance with GOP Policies 2002, 2015, and AEDB Policies 2006 and 2019, and that all of their funding came from foreign direct investment (FDI). All of the equity and private loans were organised by the project companies. Chinese institutions structured the whole investment in these factories (equity plus private financing) in US dollars and transmitted it right away to Pakistan (China EXIM Bank, China Development Bank, etc.).
Projects based on coal use super-critical coal technology. The skill level of recent engineering graduates was insufficient to meet the needs of technical workers. Chinese management thus started concentrating on employing graduates from particular Pakistani universities.
The original batches were exclusively drawn from the National University of Sciences and Technology in Islamabad and the NED University of Engineering and Technology in Karachi (NUST). A six-month technical and managerial training programme in China was chosen for 600 young, motivated engineers. After finishing training sessions, they went back to the project site to take over crucial operational duties. The engineering employees were sent to China for six months of technical training soon after they were employed to complete a module programme designed specifically for the operating phase of these power plants. According to the study, there is currently a three-year window for foreign workers to leave the Pakistani labour market and are mostly employed in the maintenance industry.
The company’s goal and strategy state that over the following five years, the proportion of Pakistani workers will rise from 68 to 80 percent. Also, for the ensuing ten years, Pakistani labourers will exclusively (100%) operate factories. Due to the length of their contracts and the site’s ongoing expansion of its human resource base, the survey indicates that the foreign workers involved in this phase will return to their home country after 5 to 10 years. With this in mind, a rule demanding that all domestic staff be freshly qualified engineers from different technical institutes in Pakistan was the perfect method for employing the workforce during this time.
A technical training school for locals will be established by a partnership between China Three Gorges South Asia Investment Ltd (CSAIL) and the local government, among other new advanced technical training institutes that will open inside the premises to offer free technical training for domestic workers.
The company selected students from the local area and awarded them scholarships to pursue electrical engineering degrees through a well-planned international scholarship programme in order to meet the technical workforce requirements of the Karot Hydropower project. The report states that Karot HPP has hired the students who have successfully completed their degrees.