Skills development vital for Zambia growth, says Dodia


PRIVATE Sector Development Association chairperson Yusuf Dodia says skills development in the labour market is a key component to Zambia’s economic growth.
Mr Dodia said in an interview on Thursday that workers need to be equipped with skills that are relevant to Zambia’s development needs.
He was commenting on this year’s Labour Day which was commemorated on May 1, under the theme Promoting National Economic Growth through Job Creation, Free Collective Bargaining and Respect for Workers’ Rights.
“We need to begin to ask ourselves what is the quality of labour in this country, how skilled is it and its relevance to our development needs. We believe if we have skilled labour in the country it is easy to achieve economic growth,” Mr Dodia said.
He noted that the country is not short of human resource but, what is lacking is a labour force which is fully equipped with trade skills.
“We have a [huge] number of students completing school every year, but only about 20 percent of them get an opportunity to be in some college or university. The rest are left to seek jobs without proper skills qualification,” Mr Dodia said.
He called on Government to establish more trade schools and revamp existing ones to enable many youths get trained in relevant skills.
Mr Dodia said once there are a lot of people with trade skills, it will ease the creation of jobs, as most of them will venture in entrepreneurship rather than wait for ‘white collar’ employment.
He said the private sector is willing to invest in the setting up of skills training colleges but is being hindered the cumbersome procedures.
“The private sector is available to run skills training centres but is being hindered by the current mechanisms at the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority,” he said.

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