The government has reiterated its commitment to creating more jobs, small business and market linkages and to upscale resource mobilisation to sustain youth empowerment in the country.
Minister of Youth, Sports and Arts, Elvis Nkandu, said government is also determined to improve young people’s livelihoods so that they can fully participate in the diversification of the economy and national development.
Mr. Nkandu said government attaches great importance to creating long life serving skills and training the youths in order for them to immediately engage into income generating activities at individual, household and community levels thereby creating employment for the unemployed youth in Zambia.
He said this during the 18th graduation ceremony for 975 students who graduated in various skills from Lusaka Youth Resource Centre in Lusaka today.
The youths graduated in food production, general hospitality, information communication technology (ICT), metal fabrication, design, cutting and tailoring and power electrical.
Out of the total number of graduates, 368 students are male while 607 are female.
Mr Nkandu said skills training programmes are being offered at 23 youth resource centres across the country.
He added that it is the government’s desired view and vision to have more youth training resource centres for young people in all the provinces so that the youth can acquire skills.
“Government attaches great importance to drive and create long life serving skills and training to the youths that will create employment for other youths and we believe that those who receive skills training from these skills training centres are the ones who do the work and they are artisanal,” he said.
And Lusaka Province Minister Sheal Mulyata said government wants to promote programmes that help youths acquire skills which will help them to participate in national development and to be self-employed.
Ms Mulyata has since urged the new graduates and other youths to actively participate in diversifying the economy and promote national development by forming cooperatives.
She further called on cooperating partners and the private sector to partner with the government in supporting the youths to achieve the goal for sustainable economic development.
Ms Mulyata has meanwhile revealed that the graduating students were also empowered with various start up equipment kits in their fields of trade to start up businesses.
The centre was established in 2001 and has been benefitting from the youth development fund grant, which is a government fund for youth programmes.