Victor Maphosa Herald Reporter
At least 346 students were conferred with diplomas and certificates in various disciplines at Chaminuka Vocational Training Centre in Mt Darwin on Thursday last week.
Speaking during the colourful graduation ceremony held at the vocational training centre’s campus, permanent secretary in the former Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Ministry, Dr Desire Mutize Sibanda said vocational training programmes should be designed to develop an entrepreneurial culture among youths.
“It is critical that our training programmes be designed to develop an entrepreneurial culture amongst youths so that they are able to start their business projects after training in order to create employment opportunities and incomes; thereby, contributing to economic growth,” said Dr Sibanda.
Government, he said, was working towards establishing a vocational training centre in every district, as well as satellite centres in every ward to cater for the training needs of youths who fail to go to conventional technical training institutions after completing their secondary school education.
“Our youth policy specifically calls for the expansion of education and skills development facilities and equipment to ensure equitable distribution in rural and urban areas in order to accommodate the ever-increasing numbers and changing needs of young people,” said Dr Sibanda.
“Education and skills development is one of the key strategic areas of the Revised National Youth Policy and puts emphasis on the holistic and integrated development of the youth. And, as permanent secretary, I am here to support the training that will add value to business and demand-driven training that is linked to industrial needs.”
Dr Sibanda urged the graduates to use the skills and knowledge they acquired during the course of their studies.
“To the young people graduating today, I say you have been armed with the necessary skills to go out into the world of work and are expected to survive on the skills you have been equipped with,” he said.
“And it is my sincere hope that you will fully utilise the skills you have acquired to develop Zimbabwe.”
Dr Sibanda commended the vocational training centre for engaging in Command Agriculture. In the 2016/2017 summer cropping season, the institution managed to grow 100 hectares of maize under the Government-funded programme.
Dr Sibanda applauded private organisations such as the British American Tobacco, Bindura University of Science Education, MC Meats and Chamtec Legends for a strong, mutually beneficial partnership with the vocational training centre.