By KENNEDY MUPESENI –
THE Policy Monitoring and Research Centre has called for restructuring of the curricula at tertiary level to target the labour market in the mining and manufacturing sectors.
The mining and manufacturing sectors face shortages of skilled labour, according to the latest research findings by the PMRC.
The report said institutions of higher learning should tailor their curriculum towards the areas which had skilled gap in the mining and manufacturing sectors unlike the situation where most of the tertiary institutions concentrate on offering the courses that were not on demand.
The report said there was need for a comprehensive policy framework that links education to industrial needs by developing human capital capacity.
“By having a policy framework in place it can compel even mining companies and manufacturing companies to take training of their members of staff seriously,” the report stated.
The report also called for the development of mining linkages to manufacturing which it said had remained low with regards to supplying manufactured inputs to the mines.
It observed that value addition beyond smelting and refining would not benefit Zambia significantly if technology and skills limitation were not resolved.
“There is need for the promotion of local manufacturing capacity both in terms of ensuring access to financial resources by the Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) and building their technical skills and administrative capacity to supply the mines,” it added.
It stated that the country only utilises 25 per cent of its manufacturing capacity which calls for a holistic approach to encourage strong linkages with the mines to spur growth of the manufacturing sector.
The report said currently the mines incur significant expenses in importing inputs from abroad.