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Karachi May 24, 2022: Standard Chartered Bank Private Ltd. (SCBPL) has launched the Futuremakers Inclusive Employability project which focuses on economic empowerment of youth with disabilities. This project is part of ‘Futuremakers by Standard Chartered’ – the Bank’s global initiative to tackle inequality, by promoting economic-inclusion for young people, including those affected by COVID-19.

Through this programme the Bank will be reaching out to targeted beneficiaries, including more than 480 youth with disabilities of which 20% will be visually impaired. Expected project outcomes include 20% of the project beneficiaries transitioning into formal employment (including self-employment) and at least 40% of beneficiaries will be females, because currently, their participation in the Pakistani labour force is extremely low.

Commenting on the occasion Mr. Rehan Shaikh, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Pakistan said, “Supporting underprivileged and differently-abled youth and helping them learn, earn and grow is a key component of our Futuremakers strategy. The launch of the Futuremakers Inclusive Employability project is aimed at training youth, especially people with disabilities, to join the workforce in order for them to realise their full potential. This project is directly aligned with our vision to drive commerce and prosperity through our unique diversity, while we reinforce our brand promise – ‘Here for good’.”

“I am very optimistic that the Bank is playing a role in bridging the socio-economic inequality of youth, and especially women living with disabilities. Through this programme we strive to becomes a catalyst of change and create lasting impact not only for those participating but also for the future generations”

Funded by Standard Chartered Foundation, the project is delivered with support from Sightsavers. The project is based on a strategic partnership that builds on a successful pilot of how labour market systems can adapt to be more inclusive of people with disabilities in formal employment.

The project will focus on four core pathways: Pathway-1 will build the employment readiness and self-confidence of jobseekers with disabilities. Pathway-2 will build the disability confidence of employers. Pathway-3 will strengthen the supporting functions of the labour market and Pathway-4 will influence employment regulatory frameworks. Sightsavers will implement this project in partnerships with a local implementing partner – Civil Society Human and Institutional Development Programme (CHIP). Other collaborations include Deaftawk, Community Based Inclusive Development Network (CBIDN) and the National Forum of Women with Disabilities (NFWWD).

Country Director of Sightsavers, Munazza Gillani, stated that: “It is a proud moment for us to collaborate with Standard Chartered’s Futuremakers initiative that focuses on economic empowerment of youth with disabilities in Pakistan, including the visually impaired. The project will build on learning from Sightsavers’ Inclusion Works programme, using existing resources that we have developed (including the Markets for the Poori (M4P) methodology; Accenture’s Skills-to-Succeed Learning Exchange and the Inclusive Futures’ Disability Employers’ toolkit. This initiative will ultimately facilitate the realisation of ‘Leave No One Behind’ agenda, that is the central principle of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 framework. “