Government has bemoaned the low enrolment levels in the construction sector in the country.
Ministry of Education Science, Vocational Training and Early Education Permanent Secretary (PS) for higher education Patrick Nkanza challenged institutions and the contractors to make the sector a hive of employment because it has got the potential to absorb more youths through appropriate skills.
Dr. Nkanza said the ‘poor workmanship’ being exhibited by contractors signals serious concerns which need to be addressed in the sector.
He observed that the reason why graduating students opt for white collar jobs in preference to field-work in terms of employment opportunities.
The PS said this in a speech read for him in Lusaka today by Director for Vocation and Entrepreneurship Training Alex Simumba during the signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Lusaka Business and Technical College (LBTC) and the Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (ABCEC).
He said the construction sector is the vehicle to national development if taken seriously.
He hoped that the MoU sealed today would help enhance the quality of construction project works in the country and show-case to other countries that the construction sector has a bright future over other sectors.
He challenged other institutions to consider going-rural where their services are needed if Zambia is to have beautiful infrastructure in accordance with the PF government’s resolve to prioritize the construction sector.
And ABCEC President Michael Nyirenda called for specialized courses and standardized curriculum among graduating students in colleges.
Mr Nyirenda bemoaned HIV/AIDS that has continued to rob the construction industry of skilled manpower.
He further lamented the low remunerations given to workers in preference to those in the white collar jobs.
The ABCEC chief however said the industry endeavours to improve the conditions of service to workers if there are well trained and produce quality works as opposed to producing shoddy works.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by representatives from Engineering Institute of Zambia, Surveyors Institute of Zambia, National Construction Council, Association of the Consulting Engineers, National Association of Small and Medium Scale Contractors respectively.