–National Youth Development Council (NYDC) chairperson, Saviour Chishimba, says the Patriotic Front (PF) government has identified skills training and entrepreneurship programmes as key in the fight against youth unemployment.
And Dr Chishimba says the National Youth Development Council is in the process of decentralising its operations to all provinces in a bid to accelerate the economic empowerment of youths in the country.
Meanwhile, NYDC, Training Centre Mpanshya and Buffalo Bicycle Company have partnered to train youths in Rufunsa District in bicycle repairing as an income generating venture.
ZANIS reports that Dr Chishimba said PF government wants to practically empower the youths economically through viable business ventures.
He said this in a speech read on his behalf by NYDC Secretary, John Phiri, during the unveiling of a dealership programme for Training Centre Mpanshya by Buffalo Bicycles Company in Rufunsa district today.
Dr. Chishimba said the Council will help the Ministry of Youth and Sport in formulating developmental and economic policies that will stimulate employment creation and entrepreneurship skills for young people.
"President Michael Sata wants the Council to help the Ministry of Youth and Sport to diagnose factors that are contributing to youth unemployment in order to devise effective strategies to enhance employment opportunities for youths," he said.
He explained that the Council intends to establish a Youth Investment Fund (YIF) that will help in developing the entrepreneurial skills and kick-starting business and other related ventures among youths.
Dr Chishimba further explained that the Council is also looking at ways of expanding existing educational facilities and vocational training in order to absorb all school leavers.
"Establishing special training institutions for the disadvantaged youths such as orphans and street kids in order to enable them to be economically, politically and technically independent," he added.
And Dr Chishimba said the Council is in the process of decentralising its operations to all provinces in a bid to accelerate the economic empowerment of youths in the country.
He stated that the process will culminate into formation of "One -Stop Youth Skills Services Hubs" which will be used as an integrated approach to meeting the socio-economic needs of youths.
He pointed out that the hubs will link learners to industries by providing learnership and apprenticeship practical training.
The NYDC chairperson added that the Council will also facilitate access to markets through procurement opportunities for goods and services.
"It is my sincere hope that all skills training centres and youth groups will make use of the hubs as the PF government seeks to practically empower youths," he added.
Speaking earlier, Buffalo Bicycle Company Sales Manager, Sonny Hamatende, said the dealership programme will enable learners to acquire skills and be sole dealers of its bicycle products.
Mr Hamatende added that the dealer programme will empower youths economically and supplement government in fighting poverty and unemployment among the youths.
TCM is a project of St Luke’s Mpanshya Mission Hospital under the Archdiocese of Lusaka and Bethlehem Imensee of Switzerland.
TCM’ Bicycle Outbreak Workshop also received funding from the Ministry of Youth and Sport for its construction.