Labour Minister hands over community technical colleges to five districts

Minister of Labour, Vera Kamtukule on Friday handed over five community technical colleges to five districts of Zomba, Nsanje, Mzimba, Mulanje and Ntcheu.

The colleges that have been constructed with funding from the People's Republic of China have been installed with state-of-the-art equipment and would increase access to technical and vocational skills training by 600 students.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Kamtukule said Government of Malawi considers technical education as one of the crucial areas that directly impact to the socio-economic development of the country.

She said it was for this reason that government was seriously investing in skills development knowing it would assist in achieving the  Malawi 2063 pillars of agricultural productivity and commercialization, industrialization and urbanization.

“It is a known fact that no country can develop without a skilled labour force. For Malawi to achieve the 2063 vision, relevant and adequate skills will be needed especially in areas of irrigation, mining, manufacturing and tourism,” Kamtukule said.

Kamtukule

She applauded the Chinese Government for supporting the government’s vision of having an adequate skilled labour force through the construction of the five community technical colleges, saying they (colleges) would benefit generations of Malawians.

“For a long time, the industry has been complaining that Tevet graduates are not competent to the level of the industry technology. One cause of this skills gap is the difference in technology between training equipment and machinery in the industry.

“We thank the Chinese Government for the top of the class infrastructure and the state-of-the-art equipment that students will be using during their trainings.

Kamtukule, however, appealed to the community and district councils to take care of the facilities.

“Failure to take care of the technical colleges would be killing the generations to come. As district councils you have an important role of managing community technical colleges and community development centers available in your districts,” she said.

District  Commissioner for Zomba, Dr. Smart Gwedemula who spoke on behalf of other DCs said community technical colleges provide an opportunity for the youth to create their own jobs other than waiting for others to employ them.

Gwedemula said the newly constructed community technical colleges would fill in skilled labour force gap that exists in the country.

 “We promise to take care of the facilities by instituting community committees and also provide security to the place,” Gwedemula said.

TEVETA Board Chairperson, Don Whayo said it has always been the wish of the institution to have as many technical colleges as possible, noting that Malawi the country needs more of skilled labour to develop.

“Our population consists of the youth and this therefore means more vocational skills should be imparted to them to stir the social-economic development of the country,” he said.

Traditional Authority Nkagula described the colleges as a dream come true. He said many of the youth who had completed their Form Four education were 'rotting' in the villages with no hope for tertiary education.

“Other than reducing crimes of theft, the college is a big relief to our youth as they have something that will shape their future,” he said.

According to the Ministry of Labour, construction of 30 community technical colleges across the country has been completed and there are plans to launch construction of more this year.

The five new colleges are; Kavinkhama in Mzimba, Ntonda in Ntcheu, Nansomba in Mulanje,Tengani in Nsanje and Sakata in Zomba.