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Ecam joins the Global apprenticeship network

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The Employers’ Consultative Association of Malawi (Ecam) has been appointed to the board of the Global Apprenticeship Network (Gan), a move primarily aimed at addressing the rising youth unemployment rate in the country.

Malawi’s unemployment rate currently stands at 21 percent, according to statistics from the National Statistical Office.

The Global Apprenticeship Network recently sent its representatives into the country to establish a GAN National Network and during the visit, Gan Executive Director Shea Gopal had meetings with different organisations including Ecam Executive Director Beyani Munthali.

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A statement from Ecam indicates that after the Gan network is established in the country, youths will be exposed to properly organised apprenticeship and internship programmes to develop in them skills necessary for the job market.

The Global Apprenticeship Network was established in 2013 in response to the global youth unemployment crisis. Under the network, private sector companies, business federations and associations come together to share best practices to advocate and commit to action youth employability and skills development.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the emphasis by employers to find candidates with the right skills or experience to fill job vacancies without themselves offering training to match the job requirements has aggravated the skills mismatch in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

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The Internat ional Labour body says the end result is that an increasing number of young people in developing economies like Malawi are taking up employment for which they are overqualified thereby defeating efforts to achieve sustainable development as there is a loss of valuable skills for the young person and the countries also forfeit higher economic productivity.

The ILO recently warned that Malawi needs a vision for the future of its labour market and a strategy to improve labour market outcomes, particularly for the youth saying youth employment is highly dependent on the general employment situation.

According to the global labour body, youth is a crucial time of life when young people start realising their aspirations, assuming their economic independence and finding their place in society.

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