The Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Honourable Francis Kasaila, MP, has hailed Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) Authority for investing K134 million into the construction of Kasama Community Technical College (CTC) in Chitipa.The Minister applauded TEVET Authority when he toured various TEVET institutions in the northern region from 9th to 12th January 2018.

Kasaila highlighted that by constructing the CTC, TEVET Authority is increasing access to skills training in the district; a development which is in line with government’s priorities.

“What you are doing here is a step in the right direction as the structures here will enable more youth to get access to skills training. This is in line with what we want as a government because through initiatives like these, more young people will gain skills necessary for the improvement of their livelihood through self or wage employment,” he said.

The Honourable Minister said the construction of the CTC will bring other developments in the area such as water, electricity, hospital and trading centre among others.

TEVET Authority Acting Executive Director, Mr. Wilson Makulumiza-Nkhoma said his organization saw it necessary to make the K134 million investment after noting the huge demand for skills at Kasama Community Skills Development Centre (CSDC).

“Some months ago while performing its oversight function, the TEVET Authority Board visited Kasama CSDC and were impressed with the work being carried out there. In addition, they also noted a huge demand for skills at the centre and after discussions, a consensus was reached to expand the centre and turn into a Community Technical College by constructing eight workshops so that it absorbs more youth,” he said.

To ensure direct improvement of lives of communities around Kasama, the construction of the college is being done using on-the-job methodology; whereby training in a particular field is done while a person is doing the actual job and a trainer serves as the course instructor using hands-on training.

Through this methodology, there is dual benefit as learning structures are being constructed at low cost, while at the same time, communities are gaining technical know-how.

“We thought as a way of expanding the training base, we should use young people from surrounding villages so that we give them an opportunity to learn various skills at the construction site. To ensure adherence to quality and standards, we hired master craft persons and a site engineer who are at the site all the time,” said Nkhoma.

The community technical college is being constructed using environmentally friendly stabilized cement blocks as opposed to the traditional burnt bricks which aid in the depletion of trees. These blocks are being molded right at the college by the same youth who are learning on- the- job.

Chairperson for Kasama CSDC, Mr. Huggings Mlenga said 31 young people from communities surrounding Kasama were engaged to learn on-the-job at the site and TEVETA will certify them accordingly.

“On top of the traditional courses of Fabrication and Welding, Carpentry and Joinery, Tailoring and Bricklaying which were being taught at the centre; the community technical college will have Information and Communication Technology, Electrical Installation, Plumbing and AgriTEVET as additionally demanded courses,” he said.

Kasama Community Skills Development Centre was launched in September 2015 and lies on a 10 hectare piece of land. It is part of the 12 CSDCs under the TEVET Improvement Plan, a four year project (2015 to 2019) funded through a US$5 million grant from the World Bank.

The expansion of Kasama CSDC into a fully-fledged Community Technical College will take the number of community colleges to 13.

Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training (TEVET) Authority has announced that it will no longer administer entry examinations during the recruitment of pre-apprentices.

The new approach of recruitment which is set to begin in 2018 follow ongoing reforms that the organization and government is doing to increase efficiency and effectiveness in the recruitment process, mainly through optimizing finance, time and human resource utilization which is in line with current best practices.

According to the TEVET Authority Executive Director, Mr. Wilson Makulumiza Nkhoma, the selection of pre-apprentices will now be based on the Malawi School Certificate (MSCE) grades and programme subject combination according to specific course requirements and equity as guided by government policies, procedure and statuses.

“Production and administration of entrance examination alone was costing TEVETA up to K60 million and now due to the decommissioning of the exams, we will spend less than K20 million. This gave us reason that the authority will no longer be using entrance examination grades as part of selection criteria as has been the case all along,” said Mr. Makulumiza Nkhoma.

He further said the selection for 2018 pre-apprenticeship programme is at an advanced stage and that successful candidates who will be selected using these criteria will be duly informed through letters, SMS’s and public announcements.

Click here for the press release

By Ettah Sakwiya

Occupation safety, health and environment training ended with a call on participants to comply with National, Regional and International laws on environmental safety by putting in place enabling policies that would help to avert injuries and loss of life due to work related preventable accidents.

Speaking in Lilongwe on 13th October during the end of a five-day course on Occupational, Safety, Health and Environment, Central Region TEVET Authority Regional Service Centre Manager, Mr. Victor Luwambalala said matters on occupational safety, Health and Environment are now becoming an important aspect at workplace hence the need for employees to be equipped with hazard prevention skills for human welfare.

“As TEVET Authority, we realize that customers of stakeholder’s products and services are comfortable with goods and services that are produced under circumstances that follow key international Health, Safety and Environmental standards, as such it is our belief that the participants in this training would be able to carry out health audit at their respective workplaces and have sound Health policies that all the workforce will be able to understand and adhere to at all times” Luwambalala said. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the training, one of the participants Mary Salanje, Human resource and administrative manager at Agricultural Trading Company (ATC) said the training is not only a want but also a need, she commended TEVETA for conducting such training by highlighting that every company is prone to different accidents and it is essential that such trainings are conducted and every company participates.

She said ATC sales agriculture products and chemicals which are used in the agricultural sector and as such, that requires someone with a knowledge on safety measures and TEVETA has indeed come as a saviour.

“It is the first time that ATC is participating under trainings at TEVETA, the training has covered a number of areas where we as an organization has benefitted, as a human resource manager, I have to know how to handle chemical hazards at the warehouse where the goods that we distribute are kept and distributed to various shops, accidents like people falling from cliffs, harmful chemical fumes being inhaled so whatever we have learnt here is relevant to us,” said Mrs Salanje.

Concurring with Mrs Salanje, Mr Humphrey Kalele Gunchi, Assistant Registrar at Kamuzu College of Nursing said he will be able to develop safety policy and come up with a risk database management that will help in putting measures to make all employees safe.

The training is held under the Public Private Sector Training programme with an aim to bridge skills and performance gaps among existing employees at the workplace so as to increase productivity and delivery of high quality products on the market” and participants nominated by their respective companies come together for a short training intervention.

The training drew 42 participants from various levy compliant companies and organisations. According to Mr. Luwamabalala the training was the first of twenty-five courses in the 2017/2018 Training Calendar which shall be conducted across the country and by June 2018, about 540 participants from different communities would have benefitted from this stated intervention in various fields and at different levels at the workplace.