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Friday, July 19, 2024

‘Let’s trust our own’

‘Let’s trust our own’

Story by Justin Mahlahla

PARTICIPANTS attending the skills indaba and strategic planning meeting of the Ministry of Skills Audit and Development in Mutare have called for the deliberate absorption of skilled Zimbabweans into the economy, in order to set the country on a fast-paced economic development trajectory.

As the workshop entered its third day this Friday, participants agreed that the country must change its mindset from importing skilled labour and machinery from other countries, but instead create demand for local skills that are abounding in every sector.

Development economist, Dr Langton Mabhanga challenged industry and other sectors to deliberately adopt the local Zimbabweans that are skilled in such areas as civil engineering, among others, while calling for policies that promote the local manufacturing sector.

“We need to balance the call for the utilisation of local skills for economic development with policies that enhance vibrancy in our industry and commerce. Let’s encourage the production and manufacture of our industrial equipment locally.”

The Minister of Skills Audit and Development, Honourable Professor Paul Mavima said there has to be robust economic activity, including at the grassroots level, to promote the absorption of local skills.

“This whole thing of skills development has two sides. There is the development side… we are saying we want to fill in the gaps of the skills that are missing, but we are also saying we want to create skills that are needed for the future. But for that to effectively benefit the country, we need to make sure our economic development is vibrant enough to then give meaningful opportunities to the individuals that we are imparting with these skills.

“We have to make sure that we also provide an environment where the working conditions, the remuneration are such that we retain these skills within the country and all that hinges on a very robust economic development programme. So, part of what we should do is to coordinate with the agencies that are responsible for macro-economic planning and development,” said the minister.

He added, “Part of what we have to do is also to generate within Zimbabwe this idea of a ‘can do’ attitude and with that ‘can do’ identity we can jumpstart the economic development and transformation that we need and this will then auger well not only for the continuous development of the skills that we need, but also the continuous absorption and retention of those skills here.”

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