Minister of Technology and Science Felix Mutati has extolled the private sector for supporting strategies that enhance employability of the country’s workforce. “This will intensify acquisition of practical competences for smooth transition into the world of work by graduates.”
The Northern Technical College (NORTEC), University of Zambia, Cavendish University and Zambia Institute of Chartered Accountants (ZICA) are higher education tertiary institutions have partnered with ZAMBEEF to integrate and build internship - industrial mentorship to students from respective institutions to get acquainted with real industrial world of skills work, management, and science research.
Officiating at the launch of the programme, Mr. Mutati commended Zambeef for its commitment to support Government towards skills, management, and science research internship to enhance employability of young people through industrial skills acquisition as a means deliver solutions that will transform the lives of the people of Zambia.
Mr. Mutati put an emphasis on the delivery of a sound and result oriented curriculum drawn by the training providers to support a practicability in order to realise a key transformation of industry in all economic sectors.
“Zambeef is not only buying cattle from farmers, but it is also providing business solutions to meet industry needs. The outlets for Zambeef are creating opportunities for out-growers in agriculture to earn a living and lead a good life. Zambeef is a model to create value chains and empowering communities with abilities to participate in agriculture value chain.
The partnership is creating a furnace to develop fully baked young people with theoretical and practical competences to add value to raw materials and contribute to national development across sectors. It is also building networks for curriculum development and research. Zambeef leadership should motivate others in creating businesses that harness young talent and engineer it into a valuable and work ready workforce. We all have a role to play in developing relevant skills for job and wealth creation across sectors,” added Mr. Mutati.
And the Minister of Education, Permanent Secretary Joe Kamoko said Government has placed a priority on education and engaging the private sector to complement its efforts in helping the youths to gain a practical industrial experience for mutual benefits. He said the graduate internship programme will address the problem of lack of work experience among the youths that made them uncompetitive in the job market. “Industry working with training institutions has benefits for many years to come. Internship partnerships will benefit training institutions through industry placement of trainers and students to move from theoretical giants to practical giants to drive economic transformation across sectors."
The Permanent Secretary urged other industry players to facilitate the workplace learning for young people leaving training institutions with different qualifications. “This will improve youth employability through public-private sector partnerships. Industrial involvement with higher learning institutions will provide students with real life experience resultantly helping prepare students for effective industrial workforce.”
Meanwhile, Zambeef Chief Executive Officer, Faith Mukutu said with a youthful population in the country, the company had realised a dream of creating corporate leaders in the economic sector by augmenting Government efforts in the promotion of skills training, practical management and research in the education sector.
She said the signed MoUs will help enhance on the renowned meat processing company to adequately satisfy its customers.
Acting Principal NORTEC Martin Kansonso said the well-knit collaboration will yield many efforts especially anchored on agriculture that is also a backbone of Zambia to the provision of food and employment hence NORTEC being a leading engineering college in Zambia has a well-established presence to provide training for the labour market.
Mr. Kasonso said the partnerships will equip graduates from these institutions with workplace practical experiences to enhance their employability and smooth transition into the world of work. He commended Zambeef for opening opportunities for skills enhancement for young people through internships in such a critical sector like agriculture, which is the main contributor to national development and food security.
“A partnership with Zambeef brings valuable ingredients to youth employability. Working alongside industry experts will make a smooth transition of youths into the world of work. NORTEC has modern equipment to manufacture agricultural machine components at a cheaper cost. The partnership will make graduates more competitive in the job market and make meaningful contributions to their contributions. The internship programme will build confidence in career beginners who need valuable networks to penetrate the job market. The partnership will harness talent into youths and give them invaluable real work experience to compete in their different careers.”
The MoU will help in improving teaching approaches to make learning institutions training according to industry needs through real life skills acquisition. Support from industry bridges skills gaps to adequately prepare graduates to run with industry fundamentals smoothly.