The Ministry of Technology and Science is in the process of establishing specialised training institutions to offer skills courses critical to the mining sector.
Technology and Science Minister, Felix Mutati said the training institutions will be established in two mining provinces of Copperbelt and North-Western.
Mr Mutati said specialised skills are critical in reaching the three million metric tonnes copper production that government is targeting in ten years.
He said government will work with the mining companies in identifying skills that are relevant to the mining sector.
” The ministry together with TEVETA, will sit with yourselves to understand critical skills needed for us to reach three million metric tonnes of copper in ten years”, Mr Mutati said
Mr Mutati was speaking yesterday at Barrick Lumwana Mine in Kalumbila district during a meeting with mine management.
Mr Mutati said the ministry wants to help youths get relevant skills, adding that this will help bridge the skills gap in the mining sector.
” As mining gets bigger, we need to prepare our youths with relevant skills needed by the mines,” he said.
Mr Mutati said this will help address the issue of bringing in expatriates to do jobs that can be done by Zambians.
Meanwhile, Mr Mutati asked the mine to partner with Mwinilunga Trades Training Institute to undertake the desk making initiative.
He said the institution will provide the facility and staff while the mine can support the initiative with waste wood.
” This will deal with the issue of shortage of desks in the province, Mwinilunga can supply to Ikelenge as well. We don’t want to be importing desks from outside when we can make them in our institutions”, Mr Mutati said.
Barrick Lumwana Mine Acting General Manager, Abraham Musonda commended government’s move, saying this is critical for sustaining the country’s skills
Mr Musonda said there is need to provide opportunities for the youths once they are trained.
“This is a positive move that we would want to be part of, but we need to table it with the board. We will communicate the decision that will be made,” he said.
And North-Western Province Minister, Robert Lihefu commended the mine for its Corporate Social Responsibility activities but asked them to double their efforts.
“Lumwana mine is doing well in CSR in their catchment area, but they should double their efforts, we want to see more activities from them”, Mr Lihefu said.
He said the host communities should feel the impact of having a mine in their area.