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Partnership with local authorities is strategically important for skills development - Director General
September 18, 2023 at 12:10

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The TEVETA Director General, Cleophas Takaiza has said a partnership with the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) to support skills development and social economic transformation was critical in ensuring relevant workforce development and stimulating grassroots economic activities. Speaking during the LGAZ Conference, Mr.Takaiza said TEVETA has placed emphasis on collaborative efforts in developing a quality and competitive workforce for the country’s productivity and economic transformation.

He added that skills were the new global currency that transformed lives and socioeconomic development. “TEVET skills are critical in achieving several economic goals of the country such increased copper production, agriculture and agro-processing, value addition and other economic impacts. However, the TEVET sector is faced with a number of challenges related to quality, increasing number of illegal institutions, weak collaboration between training institutions and industry, inadequate number of training institutions, among others.”

Mr. Takaiza said addressing those challenges called for collaborative efforts from different players such as employers, trade unions, local authorities, cooperating partners and donors. “TEVET is expensive as it involves developing practical competencies for inclusive socioeconomic transformation. It requires sustainable financing and long-term partnerships to support curriculum development and review, implementing Work Based Learning (WBL) such as apprenticeships, internships and industrial attachments and other critical processes in skills development.”

He said the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) was a key financing mechanism of both skills development and enterprise development through loans and grants. “It is therefore vital for us to work together to harness low hanging fruits from the CDF to achieve job and wealth creation needs of different demographics of citizens. We have many opportunities to develop a viable human that drives national and grassroots development for job and wealth creation.”

The Director General said skills facilitated social inclusiveness, mobility and provided the grassroots abilities to identify opportunities using entrepreneurial acumen and use their skills to produce goods and offer services to earn income. “CDF is critical in developing right skills to stimulate local economic activities. Each local authority should identify economic endowments and skills needed to ensure youths effectively participate in optimizing those endowments to improve their wellbeing. Without critical thinking about the skills the grassroots needed in line with endowments in our constituencies, CDF will have little impact.

Some constituencies do not have trades institutes. We need to invest in skills centres and link them to constituency projects so that training programmes respond to constituency socio-economic needs and opportunities. We can revamp skills centres in local authorities. Human capital development requires long term partnerships." Local authorities are strategic players in providing skills, providing permits for enterprises, providing Business Development Services (BDS) to local enterprises through community offices and other economic and business support requisites. "From birth to death, local authorities have a role in our lives. It is important to have viable & efficient local authorities that address grassroots job & wealth creation needs efficiently to ensure productivity in each local setup."

The 2013 Local Government Association of Zambia conference in Livingstone under the theme: "unlocking the potential of Local Government for transformative socio-economic development."