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Govt pumps $1m into VTCs

by Staff reporter
29 Mar 2021 at 05:29hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT has allocated $1 million to vocational training centres (VTCs) across the country to enable them to produce multi-skilled graduates.

This was revealed by Youth, Art, Sport and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry last week in Parliament while responding to the report by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, which exposed infrastructure rot at most VTCs.

The committee report was tabled before the National Assembly on March 9.

Coventry admitted that there was shortage of human resources at VTCs, which resulted in employees multi-tasking to cover the gaps.

"The response is that Treasury has allocated $1 million to the re-emergency of incentivising the VTCs with up-todate and best practices in terms of tooling and retooling of vocational centres," she said.

"Efforts are being made to have public private partnerships (PPPs) put in place as well as public sector investment. This is needed so that we can really offer our young people proper and adequate tools and skills as we move this country forward."

Coventry said despite the fact that VTCs had the capacity to enrol more than 80% students into tertiary education per annum, most centres had become white elephants due to lack of financial resources.

"My ministry in liaison with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development shall explore other financial resource mobilisation initiatives such as PPPs and tax incentives in order to stimulate investment and resurrect incomplete projects in VTCs and this will be done by October 31, 2021," she said.

Coventry said the infrastructure at VTCs would be constructed and refurbished to take in more students.

"Empowerment Bank has been given unlimited access to all VTC's. This will enable the bank to market its services and products to the students and this includes loans on start-up kits to the graduates. Additionally, my ministry gave start-up kits to Chambuta Children's Home, where 57 students were trained in agriculture and motor mechanics," Coventry said.

Source - newsday
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