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Nehanda Guardian Provincial Newspapers

National Youth Service returns

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Mt Darwin – THE Ministry of Youth, Empowerment, Development and Vocational Training
is to re-introduce the National Youth Service programme, in bid to bring sanity and discipline
among youths.

The National Youth Service training will complement skills training that youths are getting
from vocational training centres across the country.

The announcement was made by the Minister of Youth, Tino Machakaire, during the
graduation of 204 youths at Chaminuka Technical College in Mt Darwin on Thursday.
He said the Government is also in the process of establishing vocational training institutions
across all provinces and districts in the country.

The graduation was held under the theme; “Vocational Education, the Drive Towards
Attainment of Vision 2030”, which was in full support of Government's thrust.
Machakaire said empowering youths with different life skills is in line with the country’s
economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1(NDS 1), which identifies human
capital development as one of the key pillars for attaining Vision 2030.

The Government, through the Ministry of Youth, is concentrating efforts on establishing at
least one vocational training centre in all the districts of the country.
Currently, there are three (3) established VTCs and five (5) satellite VTCs in Mashonaland
Central Province.

Increasing the number of VTCs will ensure that a significant number of school leavers will be
able to get relevant skills for entrepreneurship and industry growth.

The VTCs does not consider any academic qualifications when enrolling students, everyone
is welcome as long as they are literate.

To ensure standard and competitive training, the Ministry is also currently in the process of
reviewing the Vocational Training Curriculum and producing training programmes that will
fit into the Zimbabwe National Qualifications Framework (ZNQF) with 28 new modules
already in place.

The current trends in the modern environment call for a shift from the traditional courses to
new training demands that speak to the existing local and global markets which are
characterised by the latest technologies and emerging training for green jobs.

Entrepreneurship skills are beneficial to young people, regardless of whether they start their
own business or not, because entrepreneurial behaviour is an asset in any workplace.

“As such the training model adopted by all the VTCs is the Training for Enterprise (TFE). In
the same vein, I hope that centres in Mashonaland Central, like many others that have arable
land, fully utilise the Training for Enterprise model and expand agriculture production
beyond just self-sustenance to commercial levels,” he said.

Vocational Training and Skills Development is key in the fight against drug and substance
abuse also.

The National Youth Service Programme was initially introduced in Zimbabwe in 2001 by
then Gender Youth and Employment Minister, the late firebrand Border Gezi and the first
training camp was established at Mount Darwin in 2001.

The programme is intended to transform and empower youths for nation building through life
skills training and leadership development.

The programme has been disbanded, reinstated, and rebranded several times over the years.
Some of the youths, who were trained under the programme, are grown up men and women.

They say that they were instilled with a sense of national identity and patriotism.

“The trainings should just be re-introduced, it’s almost overdue, cognisant of the rate at
which youths are abusing drugs and substances.

“If only they had undergone the trainings, they were not going to engage in such bad
behaviours,” said Kudakwashe Murwira, a former National Youth Service student.

According to Minister Machakaire, the programme needs to be re-introduced as soon as
possible and preparations are already at an advanced stage.

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