CBZ tackles high unemployment

HARARE - Zimbabwe's largest financial services group, CBZ Holdings (CBZ), said it has intensified efforts to empower thousands of the country’s unemployed youths through skills training.

The group’s senior manager marketing Joel Gombera told the businessdaily that CBZ — under its Youth Entrepreneurship Programme (Yep) — is nurturing a new generation of growth-oriented business persons.

“Many young Zimbabweans graduating from universities, colleges and high schools have no option but to become entrepreneurs due to lack of employment.

“The programme seeks to improve Zimbabwe youths including those who are in the rural areas through offering business opportunities which will in turn create employment opportunities,” he said.

Yep, which is in its second year, is in-line with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe`s 2016-2020 National Financial Inclusion Strategy as part of efforts to foster economic and social development by increasing fiscal space for previously marginalised key players such as smallholder farmers, women, youth, micro-small to medium scale enterprises in the formal banking system.

The practical and results-based initiative aims to produce growth-oriented profitable businesses that are run professionally by youth from all 10 provinces in Zimbabwe.

Gombera noted that it was crucial for the youths to take advantage of opportunities that abound in various sectors of the economy to develop themselves and the country.

“The skills training will put the youths in a better stead to run and grow their businesses more efficiently. To me, this is not just training, this is empowerment with the tool of life,” he said.

Zimbabwe is struggling with high unemployment rates — estimated to be above 80 percent — due to deteriorating economic conditions in the country.

Economic analysts, however, said youth unemployment in both wealthy and developing nations is in part due to a dearth of skills training.

In turn, the lack of economic opportunities for the world’s young workers is one of the most pressing challenges for governments struggling to maintain their legitimacy and for businesses starving for talent.

If the global business community is to benefit from qualified and well-trained employees in the coming years, skills training will be critical in every sector — from agriculture and manufacturing to the creative arts.

The experts also further indicated that as government austerity programmes, coupled with the soaring cost of education, deliver a one-two punch that pushes skills training out of reach, it is now even more important that companies step in if they are to be guaranteed a pipeline of future talent and stable markets in which to conduct business.

Yep’s inaugural edition last year saw over 1000 young people from the country’s provinces receiving extensive training, while 20 received seed money to inject into their businesses.

An online portal was also launched to facilitate further training of those that received the initial training.

As an improvement to the 2016 edition, this year’s version will see the winner walking away with $10 000, up from $3 000 in 2016, while the runners up will receive $7 500 and $5 000 each.

Comments (1)

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Enid - 3 November 2017

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