Govt. pledges commitment to enhance skills training

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Government says it will endeavour to enhance investment in skills training as the sector is cardinal to ensuring national development.

Works and Supply Deputy Minister Panji Kaunda said government recognises the role that technicians and craftsmen play to develop the country.

He said 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.

Col Kaunda noted that many youths are shunning trades schools as they struggle to get employment upon completion of their courses.

He said that the scenario will now be a thing of the past as the state has embarked on a deliberate programme to empower youths who graduate from trade schools.

Col Kaunda said the programme dubbed 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 do government programmes.

He said youths who will graduate from these programmes will form cooperatives and will be subcontracted to do government projects that include construction of schools, clinics, roads and other project.

Col Kaunda said 90 percent of the funds will be given to the cooperatives while the colleges will retain 10 percent.

He 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.

Col Kaunda is accompanied by works and supply assistant director of roads and rail Lubinda Sakanga and national construction council monitoring and evaluation expert Wendy Musupe.