Government owes the Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority (Teveta) K20 billion in levies accumulated over eight years, The Nation has learnt.
Teveta executive director Wilson Makulumiza Nkhoma said this in Lilongwe yesterday when he and other Teveta officials held a meeting with Minister of Labour Ken Kandodo centred on the job-creation agenda.
Briefing the minister, Nkhoma said government has been the major culprit over the past eight years in failing to remit the Teveta levy that is supposed to fund the institution’s operations.
The law demands that both public and private institutions should contribute one percent of their workers’ wage bills to the Teveta levy.
Nkhoma argued that the K20 billion arrears could be part of resources to be used in training over 42 000 youths who would then get employed or employ themselves in various sectors of the economy.
He said: “There is inadequate government funding to Teveta, which has led to over-reliance on the struggling Tevet levy. We have insufficient funds to support growing demands for training. The number of those needing the training is so large, but with the kind of insufficient funding, we cannot accommodate them all.”
According to Nkhoma, Teveta is not given any funding but it contributes an average of K800 million as a levy every year. On average government was supposed to be paying K2.5 billion to K3 billion annually but the accumulation is minus the K800 million which government has been honouring.
Asked how Teveta could help in innovatively creating the government’s goal of providing one million jobs to the citizens, Nkhoma said the institution hopes to revamp the manufacturing sector and promote tourism.
In his comment, Kandodo told Teveta authorities that government will soon embark on implementing the one million job policy which will require some Malawians to be provided vocational and employable skills.
He assured the authority that he will intervene on some matters so that government should pay the long-standing arrears and further pledged to support Teveta in its quest to have the Tevet Act revised in line with the current development agenda.
Kandodo said: “We have embarked on job creation initiatives. But we cannot separate technical training from job creation. If we separate the two, then who will provide jobs if there is no training? So, the issue of resource mobilisation is the most important issue that we should deal with.”
“On the issue of arrears, I should say that we are ready to interface with the Ministry of Finance, so that they consider additional resources because resource mobilisation is the most important issue that we should deal with.”
Meanwhile, Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) head of membership development and communication Tione Kafumbu has said it would be bad news if Teveta failed to train more students due to lack of funds.
He said, in a written response, the private sector relies on technical skills from Teveta when employing people.
Said Kafumbu: “The private sector expects high quality skills and the skills that meet the demand of the private sector. Without enough funding, such expectations will not be met. Such institutions need to be effective if they are to support the growth of businesses and the creation of one million jobs.”
Teveta is a regulatory body established in 1999 by an Act of Parliament. It was founded to operate as an independent and autonomous body mandated to create an integrated Tevet system that is demand-driven, competence-based, modular, comprehensive, accessible, flexible and consolidated enough to service both the rural and urban Malawian citizens.
Its main purpose is to contribute to human resource development through sustainable skills training and development, spearhead the country’s production and export-led socio-economic growth. It implements its programmes guided by the national development agenda and sectoral policies informing the Teveta sector in Malawi and the Africa region.