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ILO, Denmark give youths skills

THE International Labour Organisation (ILO) has partnered with the Danish government to provide skills to youths in a move intended to reduce unemployment levels among the country’s largest population grouping.


The plan, Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development programme, runs for five years.

Speaking during a tour of some of the projects at Highglen complex in Harare last week, ILO country director Hopolang Phororo said the skills programme had improved the lives of the youths.

The tour was graced by the Danish minister of Trade and Development Cooperation Morgen Jensen and the deputy minister of youth and development Mathias Tongofa.

“The provision of skills is done with the goal of taking vulnerable young people, who are unemployed to gain employment and ultimately to run their own enterprises,” she said.

The programme is also aimed at achieving quality improvements in traditional apprenticeships in the informal economy and market driven community based technical and vocational skills development in the rural areas.

The programme in Highglen district was started in 2012 and after a thorough needs assessment, youths were mobilised for skills training in trades like, interior décor, carpentry, plumbing, hairdressing, upholstery among others.

Due to the success of the programme the partners are mobilising more resources to build on specific pillars of the programme to incorporate other elements.

The post training strategy includes microfinance and business development, and marketing of products.

However most of the youths under the programme said they were facing challenges raising capital and transport.

Farai Chinzvondo who underwent the training said although he was able to make a living from the proceeds of his work, he was failing to inject fresh capital to meet growing demand for his products.

“I have numerous orders but I lack financial resources to buy more inputs,” he said.

Jensen, who was accompanied by the representatives of the Danida Grant Committee and delegates from the Danish Embassy, said it was a privilege to work with the partners who were committed in ensuring that the young people had an opportunity to make something out of their lives.

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