Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre conferred with Centre of Excellence Status
January 24, 2022 at 13:39
Government has put a high premium on quality education and skills for enhanced employability and entrepreneurship, job creation and youth empowerment. Quality education and skills development are cardinal to make the country a competitive investment destination and an efficiency productive hub in the region.
Establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoE) is one of the approaches Government is using to boost quality technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET). Centres of Excellence are places where exceptional quality training takes place that supply right skilled human capital for both the public and private sectors. They (CoE) promote collaboration and provide leadership, best practices, research and development (R&D), support, and training in priority skills areas in the country.
Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre (KGRTC) was the first institution to be conferred with the Centre of Excellence status in Zambia. Conferring the status to KGRTC, Technology and Science Minister Felix Mutati said the centre provided training recognised in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region. “KGRTC has demonstrated best practices quality of training delivery. I encouraged the technical education vocational and entrepreneurship training authority (TEVETA) to continuously remain firm on assessments towards institutions’ elevation to centres excellence status based on demonstrated quality training competence outputs and quality infrastructure.
Mr. Mutati commended the international community including the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) for the cooperation and support rendered, over the years, to the national multi-sectoral inclusive the energy sector.
He said among other training needs the skills development fund (SDF) will be used to furnish training institutions with equipment in order to produce the best results. He further said the award is the new strategy under TEVET to uplift institutions competently under an excellence desired and authenticated tag.
And Speaking on behalf of ZESCO management, Human Resources Director, Maxwell Saya said it was a great milestone for KGRTC to attain a Centre of Excellence status as it was recognised regionally for offering competitive specialised training. He said the centre underwent prior intensive evaluations to qualify and attain the excellence status.
Mr. Saya commended the government for exerted tireless efforts through TEVETA to elevate KGRTC to a CoE, which was a major milestone and trajectory in view of renewable energy. He said the centre has embarked on infrastructure projects including current skills for energy in Africa with the support of ILO and SIDA, other projects includes an installed 7.5 mega watts in Namulundu community, and a solar energy plant in collaboration with rural electrification and energy ministry.
And TEVETA director general Cleophas Takaiza said KGRTC was the first training centre to qualify as a centre of excellence on TEVETA records based on employed intensive assessments that attracted inclusive and broad consultation multi-sectoral players. Mr. Takaiza said promotion of skills and development was key to meet demand supply in the labour market and remain a vehicle for improved skills efficiency for industrial activities and individual livelihoods.
“KGRTC is not only a renowned centre but a faculty to supply exception quality skilled human capital for both the public and private sector. TEVET sector will raise standards of training as the elevated KGRTC now a model of a successful journey and attainment of a centre of excellence status.”
Speaking at the same event, Technology and Science Permanent Secretary Dr. Brilliant Habeenzu said the centre has grown to a centre providing training to the entire Africa responding to skills industrial demands.
Kafue Gorge Regional Training Centre was one of the institutions that received training equipment worth K5.5 million from proceeds of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) to facilitate the quality skills training.
Continuous improvements in quality and relevance training are a priority of the Ministry of Technology and Science for sustainable economic development in line with the Vision 2030. The Vision 2030 recognises technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET) as a strategic vehicle to ensure enhanced human capacity to increase skilled persons’ employability, productivity, and efficiency.
Centres of Excellence are focusing on demand driven programmes textiles, value-Addition in agriculture, leather weaving, tourism and hospitality industry, equipment manufacturing, jewelry, milling, copper crafts and mobile phone repair. CoE’s reference points of skills excellence development include national development goals such as Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Vision 2030, Medium Term National Development Goals and sectoral development goals.
Government intends to create six (6) Centres of Excellence to meet the skills demand of the industry across different sectors. Modern training equipment and tools have been acquired for the training institutions to actualise the establishment of Centres of Excellence. The main programmes in selected institutions to be Centres of Excellence are Machining and Fitting at St Mawaggali Trades; Solar and Biogas Energy at Lusaka Business and Technical College; coded welding and automotive electrical engineering at Kabwe Institute of Technology, among others.