Ecom Vocational Training Institute (EVTI) has said entrepreneurship is critical in addressing unemployment and the socio-economic challenges Malawians are currently grappling with.
EVTI board chairperson Chrispin Mussa said in an interview on Saturday that Malawi needs to invest in developing entrepreneurial skills among the youth to avert problems the country is facing as a result of the growing unemployment rates.
Most of the country’s youths are without jobs even after finishing tertiary education and experts have argued that entrepreneurship could be the only way to ensure that unemployment levels are reduced.
“Entrepreneurial skills could help more young people create their own jobs and those of others. Therefore, government and the private sector need to collaborate in facilitating the training of the jobless population to enable them become productive,” he said.
EVTI students’ council president Joseph Kamangeni observed that acquisition of skills alone is not enough to enable them gain independence.
He said there is need for banks and microfinance institutions to consider softening up their conditions for accessing loans so that graduates who choose to venture into small-scale entrepreneurships can easily benefit.
“Now that we have acquired requisite skills in different trades, we desperately need capital to enable us set ourselves up,” he said.
In August this year, Minister of Labour and Manpower Development Henry Mussa said government has embarked on an exercise to identify the numbers of unemployed people in the country.
“We want to have correct numbers and the appropriate categories so that government is able to identify the appropriate approaches in dealing with the challenges,” he said.
Mussa said government cannot just look at the problem of joblessness as a block, arguing that there are people who have never been in class.
Mussa said a technical committee that will analyse the data includes technicians from ministries of Labour, Youth, Economic Planning and Development, Education and Gender to come up with a harmonised approach that will be cost-effective and easily applicable.
He said certain vacancies in industry, including the public sector remain unfilled because qualified people with appropriate and relevant skills cannot be traced.
A recent National Statistical Office (NSO) 2013 Malawi Labour Force Survey (MLFS) found that Malawi’s unemployment rate is at 21 percent.