Government says it will endeavour to push in heavy investment in skills training as the sector was cardinal to ensuring national development.
Works and supply deputy minister Panji Kaunda says government recognises that it is the technicians and craftsmen that can develop the country and not white collar jobs.
He it is for this reason that government wants to make trade schools more attractive in order to get more youths to undertake skills training programmes.
He noted that many youths are shunning trades schools as they struggle to get employment upon completion of their courses.
He said that this scenario will now be a thing of the past as the state has embarked on a deliberate programmes to empower youths who graduate from trade schools.
Col Kaunda said the programme dubbed ‘the affirmative action on youth empowerment in construction’ is a government initiative that aims at transforming trade schools into companies that will be awarded contracts to undertake government projects.
He said youths who will graduate from the programmes will form cooperatives and will be subcontracted to do government projects that include construction of schools, clinics, roads and other infrastructure projects.
He said 90 per cent of the contract money will be given to the cooperatives while the colleges will retain 10 per cent.
He said this will undoubtedly help in tackling the challenge of youth unemployment in the country and at the same time uplift the status of trade schools.
Col Kaunda said the trade schools will also be charged with the responsibility of monitoring the projects to ensure they conform to the required standards.
The deputy minister said this during his tour of trade schools in Luapula province today.
He is accompanied by works and supply assistant director of roads and rail Lubinda Sakanga and national construction council monitoring and evaluation expert Wendy Musupe.