Zambia: Govt Invites Private Sector to Youth Unemployment Fight

GOVERNMENT has called for concerted efforts among stakeholders to fight youth unemployment.

Labour and Social Security Minister Fackson Shamenda said the problem of high unemployment among the youth in Zambia called for the Government, private sector, trade unions and civil society organisations to join hands in implementing proactive measures to address it.

Mr Shamenda said the Government alone could not manage to address the challenge of youth unemployment, hence the need for collective efforts.

He said this in Livingstone yesterday during a Norway Federation of Trade Unions (Lo-Norway) and Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) youth conference.

The conference, whose theme is 'Finding space for youth in trade unions and creating decent job opportunities amid the global financial crisis', has attracted delegates from Togo, Malawi, Mozambique, Norway, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.

"Collective efforts should focus on investment in higher education and vocational training skills.

"We should also focus on promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Further, we should focus on improving the translation from schools to work through matching skills," Mr Shamenda said, in a speech read for him by his deputy Rayford Mbulu.

He said the economic crisis around the world presented countries an opportunity to be innovative and find new ways of creating jobs.

"For us as Patriotic Front (PF) Government, we are determined to work with all progressive organisations including the private sector to move jobs to the centre stage of our country's development agenda," he said.

ZCTU Secretary General Roy Mwaba said ZCTU was committed to working with the Government to address youth unemployment.

Lo-Norway representative Alice Siame said there was need to give youths an opportunity to plan for their future as opposed to Government planning for the future of youths.

Ms Siame, who is Norway regional consultant for Africa, said youths should be involved in the development of future policies of countries.

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