Despite recent government investments in technical colleges, findings of a youth inclusion study have revealed that only 2.2 percent of the country’s youths enrol in public vocational skills training institutions yearly.
The report, by Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has attributed the development to high education level requirements for one to enrol in the institutions.
OECD has, therefore, recommended that government should increase the number of Technical Entrepreneurship and Vocational Education Training (Tevet) institutions, courses and offerings with lower entry requirement if the country is to develop in this field.
Speaking in Lilongwe yesterday when he presided over the official launch of the Youth Well-Being Policy Review European Union (EU)-OECD youth inclusion project, Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila assured youths in the country that government will consider the recommendations of the project.
He said: “We will seriously look into the recommendations made today and youths should be able to see robust coordination going forward and ensuring that the aspirations of our youth in the country are taken on board..”
Commenting on the high unemployment rate among youths in the country which is also one of the OECD findings, Kasaila said government is focusing on providing entrepreneurship skills to enable youths carry out some small-scale businesses rather than providing employment to them.
In his remarks at the event, EU Ambassador Marchel Gerrmann urged government and other stakeholders to invest in youths education.
“It is crucial that the youth are educated as it will allow them to enter the workforce and make a decent living for themselves and their families.
“In turn, they will contribute to the national development by paying taxes, setting up small enterprises and participating actively in society,” he said.
Gerrmann said according to the Youth Well-Being Policy Review report, 46 percent of the country’s population is aged under 15 years while the youth aged between 15 and 29 represent over a quarter of the population.
The youth inclusion project, which is being co-financed by the EU in Malawi, has also been implemented in 10 other countries across the world.
The project, which has been running since 2015, seeks to support countries to better respond to aspirations of young people and their involvement in national development processes. n