Mzuzu University (Mzuni) vice-chancellor Professor John Kalenga Saka has challenged government to develop policies that support skills development, saying this is key to revamping industrialisation, which may in turn lead to economic growth.
He was speaking during the first day of the Malawi Skills Competition at Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Training, Education and Authority (Teveta) offices in Mzuzu for Northern Region institutions.
Kalenga Saka admitted that a policy shift on how government was handling industries, by among others, privatisation of some institutions changed the country’ fortunes, which need reversing through policy shift, but also huge investments.
He said: “The key enabler is the policy framework because in the 1970s, we had industries in Blantyre like B&C which required technical skills developed by that time, the Board of Governors at The Polytechnic. They built human capital for industries.
“But there was a policy change at that time which means that those industries were disbanded. Once you destroy a subsector, it means starting all over is a tall order.”
On her part, Teveta vice-board chairperson Mary Phiri said the competition will help enhance the quality and recognition of technical and vocational skills in the country.
After regional competitions, winners will compete at national level and, thereafter, the cream will compete on the international stage.
On her part, Department of Vocational Training deputy director Chikondi Lodzani said many youths are indulging in bad behaviour due to high unemployment levels.