Zimbabwe: Zim Has a Huge Skills Gap - Minister

23 February 2021

A Government commissioned audit shows that the country has a serious skills deficit of up to 62 percent despite having one of the highest literacy rates in the world.

The audit reveals that although Zimbabwe's literacy rate is at 94 percent, the national skills level is a mere 38 percent on average with some sectors having a skills gap of up to 95 percent.

Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Amon Murwira recently said the nation was struggling with a 95 percent skills deficit in the medical sector and 94 percent skills gap in the engineering sector, a situation which was affecting service delivery and economic growth.

Prof Amon Murwira said the country only had five percent of the required skills in the medical sector and six percent skills availability in the science sector, thereby hampering efforts to provide effective and quality services for the betterment of the nation.

He said the country had a serious shortage of skills and qualifications in medicine, engineering and agriculture yet they were the key drivers of the economy

"Our national skills audit shows that we have over 94 percent literacy rate and our skills levels are at 38 percent. So this means that in natural sciences, our skills levels are at three percent, which means our deficit is at 97 percent. In medicine, our skills levels are at five percent, which means we have a deficit of 95 percent.

"A skills audit is intended to provide decision makers with critical decision support information in respect of skills development, planning and capacity building. It aims to identify, improve and address skills gaps within the country and align them with the redesigned workflows and processes within organisational functions.

"The overall objective of a skills audit is to identify the skills and knowledge that the country currently possesses, the additional skills and knowledge that are still required to meet the objectives and any training or such other remedial interventions required to address identified skills gaps."

A major outcome of the skills audit process is a skills gap analysis outlining the most critical training needs for the country.

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