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European Union, China pledge improved technical vocational skills

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The European Union (EU) and China have said youths acquiring technical entrepreneurial skills should be trained using modern equipment for them to work efficiently with the private sector.

EU Ambassador Marchel Germann and Chinese Ambassador to Malawi Shi Ting Wang have noted that much of the equipment that the youth in technical colleges are using is from the early 1970s.

The two envoys on Tuesday held the first-ever joint tour of projects under Chinese and EU in Salima. The projects include the China-Aid Agricultural Technology and Demonstration Centre and Salima Technical College.

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Germann said, currently, EU h a s invested 16 million euros (approximately K13.1 billion) for rehabilitation of 40 workshops and provision of state-of-the-art equipment in construction-related trades under the Skills and Technical Education Programme (Step).

“Those machines cannot be used anymore in the private sector. What we are going to do is invest in those workshops and make sure that they are renovated and that modern equipment is being bought so that students in Malawi are being trained according to latest technology,” he said

Shi Ting said with concerted efforts with other development partners, they can help to bail out the country from poverty.

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“When we see that you still use old equipment from 30 to 40 years ago, we think that we have a duty to assist you to update that equipment. I know China alone cannot assist you, we need concerted efforts, we will work together with EU and other countries. We hope that with those efforts, you will be able to move out of poverty,” he said

Shi Ting said China is committed to constructing five community colleges that will be fully furnished with modern equipment.

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