Thursday, February 07, 2008
By Business Reporter
ZAMBIA should invest in professional and vocational training aggressively as a means to creating jobs and strengthening the economy, Lloyds Financial Limited chief executive officer, Lloyd Ching’ambo has said. Professor Ching’ambo who is National Economic Advisory Council (NEAC) president said the country should adequately invest in vocational education and be able to satisfy demand for skilled labour.
He said the country had few professional and vocationally trained people saying most of the existing training institutions concentrated much on business courses rather than focusing on entrepreneurship skills which had potential in terms of job creation. Professor Ching’ambo said this in Lusaka yesterday at a meeting on dialogue for the transformation of jobs hosted by the Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry.
“Zambians should not look for jobs or employment from the Government or the private sector but should start up their own businesses and be able to employ others.
We need to change our mindset and train more people as electricians, plumbers and other technical skills that are missing in the country,” Professor Ching’ambo said.
He also said that there was need for the country to come up with colleges or universities that would specifically provide training that meets specific needs of various sectors of the economy such as mining, energy, tourism, manufacturing and agriculture among others.
Professor Ching’ambo further urged the Government to come up with deliberate programmes aimed at ensuring that the informal sector was supported saying there was need to create an environment that was condusive for the entrepreneurship skills to thrive.
“For instance, the Government should allow people to easily access capital. In the Far East, that is a basis for development and growth by making it possible for people to access the capital.
“We need to see how to facilitate growth and environment more accessible for the people in the informal sector to access capital,” he said.
At the same meeting, Commerce, Trade and Industry Minister Felix Mutati said the challenge to the Government was to ensure that the positive developments in the economy were transformed into better jobs.
Mr Mutati explained that there was need for the country to translate the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) into people’s pockets.
He said that the Government had targeted to attract a minimum of 100,000 jobs in the country by the end of this year.
“Anything we are going to achieve this year will be focusing on transformation of jobs for the people and the Government will focus more on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) he said.