The 6th iteration of Telenor Pakistan’s ‘Open Mind Pakistan’ program empowered 20 young, differently-abled trainees who have graduated this year.
The graduation ceremony took place at Telenor Pakistan campus 345. ‘Open Mind Pakistan’ is a visionary, one-of-a-kind special training program with the objective of enhancing employability of ‘Persons with Disabilities’ (PwDs) through skills development, mentoring and on-job training; and now it has been taken a step further with the launch of a comprehensive job portal, known as the ‘Disability Job Center’ (DJC).This will provide a one-stop site for adjoining job searchers (differently-abled) as well as job posters.
The ‘Open Mind Pakistan’ 2019 edition kicked off in January 2019 where 20 candidates were shortlisted for the program after fair & impartial testing and screening processes, specially modified to be accessible for the visual and hearing impaired. To further empower this initiative, Telenor Pakistan, in collaboration with Unilever Pakistan and Special Talented Exchange Program (STEP) has designed and launched the all new job portal which solidifies career sustainability for PwDs and aid in their job-hunting excursions.
The portal is first of its kind in Pakistan and the elementary aspect of this initiative enables a large network of potential employers to post selective jobs for special citizens. Other key features include; job opportunities, information regarding rights and services, database of beneficiaries and providers, skills development and training, entrepreneurship, and micro-financing.
“It makes us really proud to see how this one-of-a-kind program has now grown into an industry best practice for organizations striving to become more diverse, inclusive, and open-minded,” said Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO, Telenor Pakistan and Head of Telenor Emerging Asia Cluster, at the graduation ceremony. “This is one of the many powerful ways how innovatively Telenor Pakistan is pursuing its mission of empowering the Pakistani society and mainstreaming the marginalized segments of its population. I congratulate the graduates of the 6th batch of Open Mind Pakistan and with the launch of the Disability Job Portal; I look forward to see increased employment opportunities for the differently-abled”, he added.
Executive Director, STEP, Mr. Atif Sheikh said, “By following the example we set today, the corporate sector, through continued collaboration with disabled people’s organisations can impactfully contribute towards an inclusive society. These initiatives can be further scaled up through policy making at the government level.”
In continuation of OMP, Disability Job Center portal will establish awareness and help the differently-abled to identify their skills and apply them to benefit the corporate world as well as their own livelihood. This, undoubtedly, will create a level-playing field for all and aid the professional progression of individuals based on merit, and not on physical abilities/disabilities.
Under the ‘Open Mind Pakistan’ program since 2013, 92 extraordinary individuals have been inducted, with three-fourth of them managing to land a job. Being an equal opportunity employer, Telenor Pakistan has focused on empowering the society by building strategic partnerships, raising awareness through advocacy, trainings and volunteerism, ensuring building accessibility and enabling inclusion in the workforce; and hence, adding more to its arsenal of Corporate Responsibility.