Nkhotakota-based Foundation for Community and Capacity Development (Foccad) on Saturday awarded certificates to 36 youths trained in various vocational skills at its learning centre in the district.
Among the skills which the youth have gained include electrical installation, welding and fabrication and carpentry and joinery. The training was conducted over a 12-month period.
Presiding over the graduation at Nkhotakota Cultural Centre, member of Parliament for Nkhotakota South Greselder Jeffrey underscored the need for youths to change their mind-set towards vocational skills.
“It is worrisome to see youths with their certificates suffering in communities. So, that is where the issue of skills development comes in. They need to undergo such trainings for them to be self-reliant,” she said.
Jeffrey challenged the graduating trainees to maximise the skills acquired and utilise the start-up tools provided.
In his remarks, Foccad executive director Dan Nthala said high levels of illiteracy as well as early marriages have exacerbated poverty in the district.
He said many youths in the district have nothing to sustain their livelihoods, hence the need to equip them with vocational skills so that they become self-reliant.
“Nkhotakota is a fishing community and illiteracy levels are high. We believe such skills would enable them to earn a living,” he said.
Aslem Chapenga, a carpentry and joinery trainee, said the skills gained would uplift his livelihood, adding that the labour market for white collar jobs cannot absorb the current work force. n