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Luanar moves to bridge skills gap

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In a bid to bridge the skills gap among young people, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) has engaged different stakeholders to assess technical and vocational education and training (TVET) offered in the country.

The project that will run for 36 months further aims at addressing high rates of unemployment and improving skills for self-employment by analysing existing challenges and coming up with improvements.

According to Principal Investigator of the project, Mirriam Matita of Luanar’s Department of Extension Studies, there are big gaps in skills development which impact negatively on the country’s development.

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She said this in Lilongwe at the inception workshop for skills for employability.

Matita said as an academic institution, Luanar is interested in ensuring that programmes that other government institutions and its partners offer are responsive to community needs.

“Looking at the youth dividend that we have, we have to look at ways of harnessing these youths so that they contribute more to the country in terms of development. We want to study TVET so that what we find can improve the quality and relevance of what the sector is doing,” said Matita.

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Director of Technical and Vocational Training in the Ministry of Labour, Godfrey Kafere, who officially opened the workshop, said TVET is an important issue that features highly in government’s national agenda.

He, therefore, hailed Luanar for coming with the project which he said will help the working age population to have the ability to identify and sustainably execute entrepreneurial opportunities.

Kafere said Malawi continues looking for more institutions of higher learning that can play their part in the provision of TVET.

“It is government’s wish that opportunities for the youth to start their own small businesses and thereby employing others are increased,” he said.

The project which is being supported financially by the International Development Research Centre has a regional focus for countries in eastern and southern Africa including Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

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