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TEVETA signs employer-based training contracts for K70 million
April 26, 2024 at 13:36

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TEVETA has signed work-based training and apprenticeship contracts with 22 employers worth K70 million. The contracts will benefit more than 4, 300 employees in mining, energy (solar and hydro), manufacturing and mineral processing, ICT, and various essential skills.

Officiating during the contract signing at Sarovar Hotel, Minister of Technology and Science, Felix Mutati who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Brilliant Habeenzu commended industry for publicly announcing its commitment to actively participate in responding to the challenge of developing a competent human resource in partnership with the Government through TEVETA.

The Minister said industry had demonstrated its commitment to skills development through work-based training and apprenticeships contracts between TEVETA and the employers.

“This is in line with the New Dawn Government’s priorities to increase workforce employability through Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) for socioeconomic development and inclusion. The Government has demonstrated commitment to skills development by consistently providing funds to TEVETA to invest in relevant workforce development in collaboration with industry.  proceeds from the skills development levy are vital enablers in meeting the skills needs of industry for increased productivity.”

He said apprenticeship contract by Lumwana Mines and Bell Equipment showed commitment from both the public and private sectors to collaborate in nurturing talent and driving sustainable development.

Mr. Mutati added that the partnerships would enable apprentices to gain hands-on experience, mentorship, and exposure to industry's evolving needs and real-world mining operations for successful careers and effectively contribution to Zambia’s economic prosperity.

“These work-based training efforts are vital to productivity driven by relevant skills, problem-solving abilities, and smooth transition for youths in the world of work. the practical nature of work-based training improves employees’ adaptability to new technologies and processes to maintain high levels of productivity in today's rapidly evolving work landscape. collaborations established through these work-based training pathways provides TEVETA opportunities to align sector curriculum with industry standards and advancements to ensure students receive relevant and up-to-date training that prepares them for careers in their trades.”

He said the mining sector remained the key to economic development, making investing in relevant skills in the sector very strategic for increased copper production and exploring critical minerals. The Minister added that the growing prominence of critical minerals call for TEVETA to constantly engage industry and reshape the national skillsets for economic competitiveness and resilience. “TEVET is key in meeting critical skills needs through tailor-made and on-the-job training to address workforce demands and ensure sustained productivity in the sector.”

And TEVETA Director General, Cleophas Takaiza said the above skill areas were in line with priority areas in the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), sectoral development targets and job and wealth creation aspirations of the country.

“We believe working with industry, employers and other stakeholders will bridge skills gaps by ensuring that skills that are missing are prioritised in curriculum development and training delivery value chain.”

Mr. Takaiza added that employer-based training programme offered learners real-world experience, enabling them to develop the practical skills and knowledge that were essential for success in the workplace. “These programs also allow employers to shape the training to meet their specific needs, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared to contribute effectively to their organizations from day one.”

Meanwhile, Zambia Chamber of Mines Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Sokwani Chilembo said the Skills Development Fund was vital to the development of skills that would improve mining efficiency, safety and meeting national copper production goals of the country. “We are happy to be part of work-based training implementation. The partnerships between employers and training institutions will improve the quality of curriculum in line with industry needs. These partnerships are bridging skills.”

And TEVETA Deputy Board Chairperson, Caption (Rtd) Charles Musenge said it was gratifying to see the industry stepping out to participate in developing skills by committing to provide Workplace and Apprenticeship training opportunities. He said for a long-time industry complained about the quality of skills coming out of the Education and Training sector, but now was taking actions to address skills gaps.

“Investing proceeds from the Skills Development Levy (SDL) in priority economic sectors is among the goals of the TEVETA Board to ensure availability of relevant skills, increased productivity, and economic competitiveness of sector players. The Skills Development Levy remains a critical ingredient in addressing Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVET) skills gaps, mismatches, and harnessing partnerships in skills development,” he added.

Captain Musenge added that consistent private sector engagement in skills needs identification remained top on Board’s priorities to guide TEVETA’s strategic actions to meet sectoral and national skilled workforce requirements. “The Board draws private sector expertise at technical committee levels to help in skills forecasting to ensure TEVETA is investing proceeds from the Skills Development Levy in most critical areas of TEVET.”

He added that Work-Based Learning (WBL) initiatives were key to up-skilling the workforce to sustain human resources needs of employers. “The Work-Based Learning initiatives will provide valuable opportunities that will lead to evaluating curriculum, reviewing quality assurance and assessments in the sector to meet industry skills needs.”

“The signing of apprenticeship contracts and other employer-based training contracts we are witnessing this morning is reaffirmation of collective commitment to collaborate and promote a culture of lifelong learning and entrepreneurship. It shows our collective belief in TEVET as an important factor in productivity, growth, and economic development.”