Kagem Mining and TEVETA sign agreement on industry-focused training 

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Kagem Mining has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (TEVETA) to support training of the mine’s staff in industry-specific skills including mechanics, electrics, applied sciences, business studies and automotive and heavy equipment repairs.

“Curating the right skills sets and widening the pool of expertise is critical for the development of the local gemstone and wider mining sector. Kagem has set this as one of our key priorities for continuous performance improvement for our staff,” said Kagem’s Head of Human Resources, Dr Wesley Chishimba.

In a speech read on his behalf by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Technology and Science, Dr Brilliant Habeenzu, Minister of Technology and Science, Honourable Felix Mutati relayed his delight at the industry’s public commitment to actively participate in responding to the challenges of developing a competent human resource in partnership with government through TEVETA to increase workforce employability through technical, vocational and entrepreneurship training (TEVETA) for social economic development and inclusion.

“The government has demonstrated commitment to skills development by consistently providing funds to TEVETA to invest in relevant workforce development in collaboration with industry. Proceeds from the Skills Development Levy are vital enablers in meeting the skills needs of industry for increased productivity,” said Dr Brilliant.

He further noted that the mining sector remains key in the economic development and investing in relevant skills in this sector is very strategic for the country in reshaping its skills set for economic competitiveness and resilience.

TEVETA Director General Mr Cleophas Takaiza  echoed the Minister’s sentiments stating that: “TEVETA is about preparing people for jobs. We place emphasis on training, developing competencies, skills, and the underlining knowledge that will make somebody useable, productive and relevant for the jobs be it in formal employment or informal employment.”

Every year TEVETA provides funding for training institutions and organisations to conduct employer-based training on a cost-sharing basis. As a prerequisite for qualification, a company and a training institution must submit a joint proposal to TEVETA requesting funding.

This joint proposal by Kagem and the Northern Technical College (NORTEC) – one of the leading engineering skills training institutes in the country – was submitted to TEVETA, and it was successful. It will be put into effect with the signing of this MoU.

Speaking about the event, Adriaan Prinsloo Kagem’s General Manager, acknowledged that the joint submission is a “vital part of the process as it creates an opportunity for the employer and trainer to align on a clear outline of the training requirements and desired outcomes, in line with industry standards.”

“We believe that the convergence of the goals of the three institutions will not only make for a more holistic training programme but will also help to enhance and strengthen the curriculum baseline which is the building blocks for well-rounded professionals in our sector,” added Dr Chishimba.

Kagem will, in accordance with the stipulations of the programme, spend about ZMW 2,250,800 (USD 85,000) on this training programme.

Upon completion of skills training, participants will receive certificates recognised by TEVETA and the Zambia Qualification Authority (ZAQA).

Dr Chishimba recognised the fact that technological changes are a given and happening at an even faster rate than before, and that industries and economies are constantly aspiring to higher standards as ESG – environment, social and governance – issues increasingly become a focus driver for organisational growth and operations.

“To accelerate innovations that will support sustainability and efficiency across mine operations, mining firms need to take on a more hands-on approach by collaborating with learning institutions and policy bodies to upskill and reskill employees’ skill sets to bridge the skills gap,” he said.

Dr Chishimba added that he was optimistic about the efforts being made in carving out a new trajectory for Employer Based Training in the country as it sought to promote and implement programmes that will create a pool of local experts that are able to take on the challenges and opportunities of the current and future demands of the mining industry, which is crucial for the development of the sector, and is vital for its growth and contribution to the overall economy of the country.

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