The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the Government of Japan, the Government of Zambia and the Hitachi Construction Machinery Company are joining forces to meet the growing demand for skilled construction machinery operators in the construction and mining sectors in Zambia.
As the Zambian economy evolves into more capital and skill intensive sectors such as mining, construction, transportation and manufacturing, the demand for technical skills for the operation of heavy equipment increased. However, employers in the construction and mining industries struggle to find skilled workers who meet the operational skill requirements of modern machinery. The situation is compounded by the need to integrate technologies from the Fourth Industrial Revolution into heavy machinery operations.
Through a public-private development partnership (PPDP), the four-year project will align the development of industrial skills with the needs of industry and the labor market, ultimately promoting productive employment for young people. This will be achieved by jointly creating a center of excellence for construction machinery operators at the Kitwe Vocational Training Center (KVTC). From the third year of project implementation, more than 125 skilled operators are expected to graduate from KVTC each year.
An exchange of notes between Ryuta Mizuuchi, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Republic of Zambia, and Khaled El Mekwad, UNIDO representative of the regional office in South Africa, confirmed the financial support of the Government of Japan.
The guest of honor, Honorable Felix C. Mutati, Minister of Technology and Science, said: The challenges we face in the mining and construction industries, with a focus on elevation vulnerable people, young women, to participate in the labor market. And my ministry will change direction so that locally we train and empower our people with skills to minimize the import of labor. This is what we can do as a country and we are quite equipped.
Ryuta Mizuuchi, Ambassador of Japan to Zambia, said: “With this exchange of notes, we are launching a unique project providing young Zambians with vocational training opportunities, with the participation of Hitachi Construction Machinery Zambia and UNIDO. This project will certainly support President Hichilema’s new Zambian government in human resource development as it attempts to empower more young Zambians for the purpose of sustainable development.
“As the global education needs are immense, the private sector can leverage its core resources and skills to help governments improve skills development and unlock the investments needed to ensure that learning opportunities are accessible. quality learning. Projects like this can help Zambia achieve this goal, ”said Coumba Mar Gadio, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Zambia.
Khaled El Mekwad, Representative of UNIDO, said: “UNIDO is pleased to facilitate the interests of public and private sector stakeholders to enhance the quality and relevance of vocational training and support inclusive and sustainable industrial development of Zambia under the UNIDO Country Partnership Program (PCP) which is fully aligned with the United Nations Partnership Framework for Sustainable Development in Zambia and the country’s Seventh National Development Plan.
Hideki Hattori, President of Hitachi Construction Machinery Zambia, said: “Hitachi Construction Machinery Zambia is very pleased to be part of this program in partnership with UNIDO, together with the governments of Zambia and Japan. This will allow us to contribute more to Zambian society as part of our agenda and vision of CSR and skills development. We know this will not only be a unique achievement, but also a platform to continually engage cooperating partners in new improvements and opportunities as we continue to operate in Zambia. We hope that other companies will follow our example and consider similar projects in other sectors in Zambia.
The exchange of notes in Lusaka was followed by the signing of a joint statement between Yuko Yasunaga, head of UNIDO’s ITPO Tokyo, and Kotaro Hirano, president and CEO of Hitachi Construction Machinery, at the Hitachi Construction Machinery headquarters in Tokyo, confirming cooperation with promoting inclusive and sustainable industrial development in developing countries and economies in transition.