Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati has appointed TEVETA Board with a five (5) pillar mandate aligned to relevance of skills, value addition, digital skills, quality and research development (R&D) in skills development. The Minister urged the Board to steer a leadership in the alignment of TEVET to the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP).
Speaking during the inauguration of the eleven member Board, Mr Mutati urged the Board to discharge its responsibility to deliver relevant skills for entrepreneurial creation TEVETA being an economic transformation engine of the country
"The success and failure of this country is in the hands of the technical, vocational and entrepreneurship education. You have the responsibility to ensure relevant skills that create jobs and entrepreneurs are developed in line with the 8NDP. The 3 million metric tonnes of copper production requires relevant skills that drive mining & other sectoral productivity. You're the answer. The 8NDP also prioritizes tourism and agriculture. The question we should ask ourselves is do we have the skills to achieve these goals? That is why we need to align our skills programmes to meet the 8NDP. Academic knowledge of engineers is important but requires hands-on skills to create the difference. Develop our skills to remain productive and competitive in mining, agriculture, tourism and other sectors."
He encouraged the newly installed board to further create training competences anchored on digital driven technical - know in trades institutes and respond to required employability skills and help economic growth. The Minister emphasised on the need to bridge the academic engineering competences to provide valued outputs. "Centres of Excellence (CoE) is another pillar for the TEVET sector which this Board should oversee and actualise. We need specialised trades training institutes that give us competitive skills for national development in line with the 8NDP. Each of the trades training institute should be known for excellence in a particular skills to hep in investing in excellence without spreading our resources thinly."
He directed board members to initiate research and development in TEVET with a view to augment skills learning activities and attain value addition outputs. "Based on the pillars articulated above, we need a Skills Development Plan matched with support financing to make our country productive, transformed and create value addition hubs, entrepreneurs and innovators. We should create a change we desire in changing our Zambia. We should not be do business as usual. TEVETA handles the TEVET Fund, curriculum development and deals with issues of examination malpractices and quality in skills development. You will be familiarised with the Authority's mandate for you to make the TEVET sector make a difference in creating jobs and wealth. You are a Board to transform our country."
Meanwhile, Ministry of Technology and Science, Permanent Secretary, Dr. Brilliant Habeenzu said "good governance entails having a Board to run public institutions. The success & failure of this country is in the hands of the TEVET sector viability."
And TEVETA director general Cleopus Takaiza said with a mandate to regulate skills training TEVETA recognises the role of tackling youth unemployment towards the world of work and acquisition of employability skills and entrepreneurship hence making the regulator focussed and rightly positioned to tackle such interventions accross the country. Mr Takaiza explained that TEVETA also recognises the Government's desire to collaborate with industry on the crusade to develop 21st century skills for wealth and job creation.
The appointed board members come with a backdrop of vast experience from industry, religious and business sectors among others and comprises the expertise of a board chairperson Ngoza Chibesakunda Nkwabilo (representing Zambia Federation of Employers while the Vice Chairperson is Captain Charles Musenge from the private sector.
Other members include Rev. Fr. Dr. Leonard Namuhumba (from the Conference of the Catholic Bishops),
Dr. Twambo Hachibamba (from University of Zambia), Ms. Linda Moono (Zambia Chamber of Small and Medium Businsses Association), Mr. Cyprian Mayamba (from Ministry of Labour and Social's National Productivity Department), Mr. James Choma (Ministry of Education), Mr. Guest Mugala (National Science and Technology Council), Ms. Lillian Chiloti (representing Zambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and a representative from Technology and Science ministry.