Ministry of Higher Education Permanent Secretary has said the Launch of the National Occupation Standards will address the mismatch that exists between job performance requirements and skills development.
Ms Siame disclosed during the Zambia Qualification Authority (ZQA) launch of the National Occupation Standards (NOS) at Pamodzi hotel that government is aware of the concerns from the industry with regards to skills gap that exists in key economic sectors of the country such as Manufacturing and Construction sector.
She said government is ready to work with the Private sector and other key stakeholders to come up with interventions that will enhance the quality of education and training.
“Therefore, the government will support initiatives such as the development of NOS, for the betterment of our country,” Ms Siame said.
The Permanent Secretary noted that the steps which the ZQA has taken to develop National Occupation Standards is in line with the government’s policy of ensuring availability of skilled workforce across the various sectors of the economy as outlined in the seventh national Development Plan.
Ms Siame pointed out that the launch is vital for the Manufacturing and construction sector as it will contribute to improving the efficiency and productivity of the workforce in the two respective sectors.
She said NOS describes good practices in all major areas of an occupation and will allow employees to get a good understanding of what they used to know for their jobs and what they need to do in their job.
Ms Siame noted that the NOS will be used to ensure that curricula and learning programmes are tailored to meet the aspirations of the industry.
She said the launch of NOS will create the fostering of relationships between training providers and industry to ensure that training institutions produce graduates with adequate and relevant skills needed in the industry.
“The involvement of industry in the development of NOS is also necessary to ensure that NOS are implemented by the intended users, such as employees, employers, curriculum developers, and training providers,” She said.
She also thanked the Embassy of Ireland in Zambia for their financial support in implementing a number of activities which includes the development of NOS which has been launched.
ZQA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mirriam Chiyaba said the Authority conducted a desk research on international best practice pertaining to the NOS development and collected important literature which was important to the development of the NOS.
Ms Chiyaba noted that the Authority Conducted validation workshop last year in December for the final validation of the NOS for the manufacturing and construction sector.
The NOS which has been launched has six components for the manufacturing sector which includes, Mechanical engineer, electrical and electronic engineer, chemical engineer, production manager, quality controller and workshop machine operator.
In the Construction sector, it will cater for geomatics engineer, electrician, low voltage, droughts person, general bricklayer, metal fabricator and steel fixer.