Minister of Community Development Doreen Mwamba says her ministry will prioritise awarding business contracts to youths that have undergone the Zambia National Services (ZNS) skills training programme.
Ms. Mwamba said this will enable the young people that acquired skills from ZNS to establish businesses.
She has also stated that government will link some of the ZNS trained youths to the economic industrial yards across the country so that they can operate from there after forming cooperatives.
The Minister said this in Kitwe today when she officiated at the graduation ceremony of 216 youths at Kitwe ZNS youths training centre.
Ms. Mwamba further said government will modernise the training facilities in ZNS training centres so that they match with advanced technology standards.
She said this will consequently enable the training centres produce graduates that will be attractive to the labour market.
“Training of youths in life support skills is a sure way of addressing unemployment, a challenge which is giving the new dawn government sleepless nights,” she said.
Ms. Mwamba added that, “..this training programme will not make sense unless you establish your own entrepreneurships and start contributing to the economic development of the country”.
The Minister further stated that government will in future upscale the number of youths enrolled in each intake so that more young people can be trained.
She has since commended the ZNS training staff for their effort to produce fully baked graduates despite the challenges that they face in the process.
And Zambia National Services Deputy Commandant Reuben Mwewa has urged the graduating youths to fully use the skills they have acquired in order to make a difference in their lives.
Major General Mwewa said ZNS was ready to support government in reducing unemployment through the life skills training programme.
He assured the minister that the graduating youths were fully trained to start their own businesses or be employed.
“The 216 graduating youths will be attached with the Zambia Airforce, Zambia Army and ZNS for a 12 months internship to further build on their acquired skills,” he said.
And Rita Banda, a re-formed former sex worker, commended government for the skills she has attained.
Banda, who revealed that she once contemplated committing suicide due to destitution, said the ZNS training has given her hope for a better future.
She said she will try to persuade some youths she left on the streets to embark on agriculture activities.
Another graduate, Previous Mwape, said the acquired skills have given the graduating youths impetus to work and create employment for others.
The 216 graduating youths have been trained in bricklaying, general agriculture, shoe making, poultry, piggery and tailoring among other life support skills.