US IT firm on talent hunt
ISLAMABAD, April 6: Federal Information Technology Minister Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari on Wednesday emphaised grooming of talented Pakistani IT experts. The minsiter said his ministry had already spent Rs200 million from its research and development fund to provide 60 scholarships to promising university students to pursue masters and PhD programmes abroad. Interaction with the local IT industry was also afoot to identify three to four basic skill areas in which the IT graduates could be trained and absorbed them in the industry.
The minister was talking to a delegation of Cisco Systems, a US multinational, which was currently visiting Pakistan to pick up six Pakistani computer science graduates for their graduate training programme in Amsterdam.
Once trained, these graduates would be part of the global operations of the company. Officials of the company were currently interviewing students, and the top ten would be flown to Dubai to be put through a rigorous selection process, after which the successful candidates would be offered jobs within the global corporation.
“This was a clear indication of the skills and talent that we had within the country and I am glad to see that foreign multinationals had also recognized that they could benefit from the training our Universities are imparting,” said Mr Leghari.
He said Pakistan produced over 5,000 IT graduates every year, the majority of which found work within the country. The top few were recruited directly into the global IT industry by companies such as Cisco and others, which sent teams of recruiters to search for the best talent across the globe.
Conventional wisdom now was that recruitment was not seen as brain drain, on the contrary we thought that these graduates would be able to help Pakistan in the longer term, as they grew in their professional careers and reached positions of responsibility within their respective companies, said the minister.