PTCL as an organization has a very diverse workforce, a major chunk of the credit for this goes to its history of being a government organization with a quota system. After privatization the legacy of inclusivity has continued.
The Justuju Internship Programme is a first of its kind internship programme in the telecommunication sector, that is starting today in collaboration with PTCL’s flagship internship programme for Persons with Disabilities.
It is a six weeks long paid internship for which a total of twenty candidates have been selected from the cities of Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi. This is the first cohort and therefore, the candidates have been limited to the three major urban centres of the country. As the programme grows the organization plans to expand it to other cities as well.
As the ongoing pandemic has made work from home the new normal, this internship programme is going to follow suit and take place in a virtual setting to ensure that the interns skill development takes place in a safe environment.
Each intern has been assigned a mentor. These mentors are selected from the existing full time employees of PTCL and before the start of the programme they were given disability sensitivity training, to ensure that they are able to communicate and train their interns in the best possible manner.
Some of the interns have hearing disabilities and some have physical disabilities and in order to ensure that the virtual communication between the intern and the mentor goes smoothly, PTCL has partnered with the start-up DeafTawk. They will be providing technical counsel and also provide interpreters who will be working 9 to 5 during the course of the internship.
Talking to Mashable Pakistan, PTCL representatives shared that the placement of the interns have been done keeping in mind the key goal, which is to ensure that these interns get to learn the skills that will help them enter the workforce.
Some of the interns had clear goals and wanted to work in a specific department and for them that preference was taken into account. For others the selection team helped in making the placement decision.
During the internship, while the interns will be learning about the details of their specific department, the plan is to incorporate webinars as well that will help them learn generic organizational skills including; time management, interpersonal skills and critical thinking.
The minimum criteria for applying for the programme was graduation and during the selection process the team learned how even with access to basic education these individuals were not given access to basic tools that can prepare them for practical work. Therefore, this lag is also going to be addressed in the form of webinars that will have motivational sessions and also practical sessions like how to make an effective CV and the use of basic softwares that any organization expects its employees to know.
At the end of the internship the candidates will be graded on a scorecard that they have developed which will be a part of the certificate that they will be receiving.
The end goal as stated previously as well is to equip differently-abled individuals to become more financially independent and to encourage a corporate culture that is diverse and inclusive.