-Northern Province Permanent Secretary, Hlobotha Nkunika, says government is concerned with the low participation of local contractors in the execution of high value projects.
Mr Nkunika says the government, through the National Construction Council (NCC), is building capacity for local contractors in the construction industry.
He was speaking when he launched the drainage structures construction course at Lukashya Trades Training Institute in Kasama.
The PS said government has invested huge sums of money in the development of infrastructure throughout the country and these projects need specialised technical skills.
He said as much as government values the contribution of foreign contractors in the construction industry, it is imperative that Zambian contractors start spearheading the development agenda.
Mr Nkunika urged local contractors to harness the initiative by government of 20 per cent subcontracting policy to fast track the transfer of skills and technical knowledge.
He congratulated students that have been admitted to the training programme, saying it is a rare privilege which should not be abused.
And Executive Director of the National Construction Council, Charles Mushota, said the rolling out of such courses is intended to bring training programmes closer and accessible to local contractors in provinces.
Engineer Mushota warned local contractors that are selling off the 20 per cent entitlements to main contractors at unreasonable rates to stop.
He noted that the trend was unacceptable, saying punitive action will be taken against such contractors and the NCC will cancel their registration certificate.
The courses will last for two months and will include both theory and practical lessons to equip local contractors with appropriate skills.