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PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema commissions Sesheke Trades Training Instituteā€¦to bring skills closer to the people
November 22, 2023 at 14:12

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WITH more than 300 kilometres from Mongu and 190 kilometres from Livingstone, Sesheke youths had limited access to skills training facilities to acquire hands-on and entrepreneurial skills to effectively participate in socio-economic activities. The commissioning of Sesheke Trades Training Institute by President Hakainde Hichilema therefore brings skills development and auxiliary economic activities stimulated by a skilled workforce closer to the people of Sesheke and surrounding areas.

Speaking during the official opening of the trades training institutes, the President urged youths who will acquire skills at the institution to be utilized their skills and become main implementers of Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects such as desk making, making school uniforms and construction various CDF projects. Distances from the nearest training facilities makes is critical that advancing the nation skills development agenda is supported by increased access to skills training facilities at the grassroots.  

The construction of new training facilities is one of the ways to increase access to skills training and broadening economic participation among citizens. Sesheke Trades Training Institutes is one of the training institutions Government has constructed to take skills training closer to the people. The institution was constructed at a total cost of K32.7 million. The completion and commissioning of the institute is in recognition of the pivotal role of artisanal skills in driving economic growth. The institute opens many opportunities for the people of Sesheke who should cherish, utilize and support the newly established institution.

The President emphasized that the Government was commitment to take skills training closer to the people hence resources were allocated to complete the Sesheke Trades Training Institute. He said Government will replicate such initiatives across the country to accommodate more students and promote widespread access to skill development services.

“With increased CDF allocation, we want all our youths across the country to attain various skills which they can use to better their livelihoods and contribute to the economic growth of this nation,” he added. Mr. Hichilema said technical and vocational skills provided huge opportunities for citizens to access hands-on and entrepreneurial skills to live a decent life and contribute to the economic transformation agenda of the country.

Government interventions in skills development have seen an increased enrolment in TEVET doubled from 38,000 in 2021 to over 80,000 in 2023. The President said investing in up-skilling and res-killing of the people would result in jobs and wealth creation and ultimately the growth of the national economy therefore it was for this reason that the Government has placed premium on prioritizing interventions and strategies that will culminate into enhanced access to equitable quality skills training.

He outlined the interventions that includes; infrastructure development through constructions of new trades training institutes, the construction of polytechnics, and upgrading of lecturer skills. Others are revision of existing and the development of new 3 curricular and upgrading TEVET institutions into centres of excellence.

The President Hichilema directed the Ministry of Technology and Science to broaden programmes offered by trades training institutions and align them with the needs of world of work, sectoral and districts socio-economic needs where those institutions were located. This would ensure that the skills acquired by the youth were directly applicable to the employment needs of their respective regions.

Meanwhile, Minister of Technology and Science, Hon. Felix Mutati applauded the completion of the Sesheke Trades Training Institute as a testament to the Government’s determination to bring skills development closer to the people.

And Western Province Minister, Kapelwa Mbangweta shared people's satisfaction with the Government’s ongoing efforts to improve their lives. “The Sesheke Trades Training Institute stands as a symbol of Zambia’s commitment to fostering a skilled and empowered workforce, crucial for the nation’s sustainable economic growth.”

Currently, there are 386 training institutions registered with TEVETA with three quarters of them being along the line of rail. The concentration of skills training facilities in provinces along the line of rail denies citizens in far flung areas access to critical skills to be productive. The Government is also constructing other trades training to increase access to skills training to enhance citizens’ abilities to participate in socio-economic activities in their communities. Some of the trades training institutes under construction include Mporokoso, Lundazi and Mumbwa trades training institutes.

Skills are critical driver and enabler of economic transformation, job creation and poverty reduction. TEVET impacts practical skills to add value to raw materials and innovate solutions to community problems.