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EU, ILO sign EUR6.5 million youth employability agreement
May 24, 2022 at 7:25

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The European Union (EU) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) have signed a partnership agreement for EUR6.5 million towards Skills Development for Increased Employability Programme in Zambia.

The four (4) year programme will support human capital development among youths in order to empower and contribute to national development. The programme will enhance the employability youths through technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVET).

The programme will also create strong linkages with the EU Green Deal, which promotes resource-efficient and competitive green economic activities and the EU Africa strategy, which emphasise on increasing access to quality education, skills, research and enhance social rights.

It will further facilitate the upgrading and maintenance of training facilities and curriculum development, governance and management structures in the TEVET sector. Skills development is a strategic component of the decent work agenda and is central to improving the overall quality of life.

This investment in the TEVET sector will address current skills gaps and anticipate future needs of the job market, and attract investments. It will support investments in human development, especially when they promote the development of skills for the youth and vulnerable groups.

The programme is a major milestone in Zambia’s skills development, which is one of the tools to enhance inclusivity, to contribute to transforming the youth into a demographic dividend for the continent.

The programme will have 1, 500 beneficiaries under Work Based Learning (WBL) in target sectors including Agriculture, Tourism, Renewable Energy and Mining. Other components of the programme are curriculum development and review, Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for instructors in the sector, equipping the TEVETA Examination Annex, acquisition of training equipment for training institutions and TEVET rebranding.

Work Based Learning refers to all forms of learning that takes place in the work environment. It provides individuals with skills needed to successfully obtain and keep jobs as they progress in their professional development. Zambia's Work- Based Learning framework incorporates various forms of work-based learning in practice in universities, TEVET institutions, skills centres and private training institutions. It addresses shortcomings in the implementation of apprenticeships, internships and industrial attachments and enhance strengths necessary for effective practice. 

Priority sectors for the work-based framework implementation in Zambia are mining, tourism, construction and manufacturing. The framework provides options for companies in different sectors to subscribe and adopt national standardized training programmes or implement their own specialised programmes under the framework. Identified skills needed in the priority sectors include heavy machine operators, machinists, metal fabricators, welders, feeders, electricians, plumbers and others. Consolidate databases of skills, skills gaps and shortfalls of skilled human resources are provided for in the framework to ensure systematic up-skilling of workforces in the country.

The Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) has currently 305 registered training institutions with more than 45, 000 student population.