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Friday, July 12, 2024

Government in bid to raise country’s skills base

Story by Tapiwa Machemedze

GOVERNMENT has set in motion plans to raise the country’s skills base from the current 38 per cent to solve pressing challenges and enhance development in line with national aspirations.

While Zimbabwe has a high literacy rate of 93.7 per cent recorded by ZIMSTAT in 2022, the skills base is lagging behind at 38 per cent.

Addressing delegates at a skills audit review meeting in Bindura this Tuesday, the Permanent Secretary for Skills Audit and Development, Ambassador Rudo Mabel Chitiga highlighted the need for transformative actions to address the technical skills gap to drive development.

“What are we producing… are we producing theoretically-sound people only or skilled people? This country cannot afford theoretically-sound people only. As a society, we need to really think skills rather than certificates,” she said.

Mashonaland Central Permanent Secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Timothy Maregere stressed the importance of exploring innovative strategies to enhance skills for sustainable economic development.

“By investing in skills development, we can unlock the immense potential of our province driving economic growth creating jobs and improving the overall well-being of our citizens,” he notes.

Delegates welcomed the review of the national skills landscape as a solution to unresolved challenges at grassroots level.

“We have the people, we can train them the skills if we are to solve the challenges that are facing the community these days because a paper doesn’t serve. It is hands on and a passionate heart which serves,” said a delegate.

“What we need really is about organisation and setting systems that recognise the skills already there and put them in the right place. You find certain people because they have 15 points are medical doctors, but maybe they wanted to become scientists, there are many different occupations,” noted another.

Skills re-alignment is necessary for modernisation in line with Vision 2030, hence government has set up the new Ministry of Skills Audit and Development.

Its mandate includes conducting a specific skills audit every three years and the national critical skills audit every 10 years.

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