Karonga — Karonga Catholic Diocese in partnership with Technical Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) has graduated 142 students from informal sector in various vocational skills.
Speaking Thursday during the graduation ceremony at St Mary's Parish in Karonga, a Karonga District Council official Lapken Liwago said there is need for more youth plying their trades in the informal sector to be incorporated in professional vocational training development.
"This approach will go a long way in addressing the existing employment challenges being faced by the youths in the district," Liwago said.
He said most youth programmes target the formal sector thereby leaving out others who can ably contribute to economic growth of the country.
"We feel such youths should also be included in the vocational training development because despite that they did not go further with education, they have skills which can help them grow economically.
"We are, therefore, commending Karonga Catholic Diocese through Lusubilo Organization and in partnership with Teveta for introducing this initiative which will redeem youths from poverty through utilisation of the provided skills," Liwago said.
Executive Director for Teveta Wilson Nkhoma said the organisation is ready to partner with any institution in offering technical education, saying such skills are beneficial to youths and the country as a whole.
Nkhoma said much as start-up capital is always a challenge for the youths, Teveta is ready to link the youth to financial institutions for them to have easy access to loans.
"We link such graduates to financial institutions like Finance for International Community Assistance (Finca) so that they can have easy access to loans which they can use to start their businesses," Nkhoma said.
In his remarks, Father Supreano Ngoma of Kapolo Catholic Parish said the diocese decided to train the youth from volatile hotspot areas as one way providing them with skills which they can use for their survival in life.
Ngoma said much of violent acts in the district emanate from idle groups of people such as the youth.
One of the graduates, Phillip Mwangolera, thanked the diocese for the initiative.
He said the carpentry, bricklaying and tailoring skills gained will go a long way in motivating the youth to find be self-reliant and industrious.