Samantha Chigogo Herald Correspondent
Government is finalising the country’s labour export policy, with the first export of graduates expected to begin as soon as Cabinet endorses the policy, an official has said. This comes amid revelations that 16 000 graduates looking for employment opportunities in several African countries have been captured from different tertiary institutions. In an interview yesterday, Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Godfrey Gandawa said consultations on the human export policy were at advanced stages and with all processes nearing completion.
“We are working on the legal instrument which has not been finalised yet as the ministry is still on the consultations stage, which is nearing completion,” he said. “Sixteen thousand applications have been captured and the process is still in progress as more graduates continue to cring their details forward for consideration.”
Dr Gandawa said consultations captured from various ministries would be considered in the completion of the labour policy document which should promote the welfare of Zimbabwean graduates in foreign countries.
“Our consultation process has been moving perfectly and we are pleased that policy matters will soon be completed. That will open avenues for the country to begin the exportation of thousands of people who in need of employment,” he said.
He said the ministry was working on the human export policy in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour, Public Service and Social Welfare and the Civil Service Commission.
Dr Gandawa said completion of the policy would promote Government investment in human capital.
“The human export policy will be part of Government efforts to ensure that graduates receive employment in other countries on binding agreements that will also ensure that the labour we export is protected by particular policies.”
He said the ministry’s database of graduates had been overwhelmed by people seeking job placements both locally and abroad.
Zimbabwe Teachers’ Association chief executive Mr Sifiso Ndlovu applauded Government’s efforts in promoting the human export programme.
“Exportation of skills is a laudable move but we have to take into consideration critical areas like engineering and science sectors which we cannot afford to lose as expertise is also needed locally,” he said.
“However, we cannot have underutilised manpower lying idle in the country and government to government agreements being finalised are very laudable as they take the education brand of Zimbabwe to the world.”
The database being created by Government will include all people who have graduated from the country’s tertiary institutions and those trained abroad since 1980 and the responsible ministry has been placing advertisements inviting graduates to forward their applications for the programme.
More than 10 000 graduates are produced from Zimbabwe’s over a dozen universities with thousands more being churned out from polytechnics, teachers colleges and other institu- tions.