Dowa, Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVET) has appealed to microfinance firms to provide soft loans to students that graduate from vocational training institutions to enable them set up their own enterprises.
Senior Training Specialist for the informal sector at TEVET, Jordan Banda, said the organization is looking for partnerships with institutions which are willing to disburse soft loans for the graduates to use as start-up capital.
He was speaking in an interview on the sidelines of an orientation ceremony for students who have been selected to pursue different courses at There Is Hope (TIH) Vocational Training School at Dzaleka camp in Dowa.
Banda said TEVET once partnered with the Opportunity International Bank of Malawi (OIBM) in providing soft loans to the graduates but lamented that the arrangement was dealt a blow when the bank stopped operating in the country in 2017.
TEVET is currently searching for other microfinance institutions with interest in providing loans to students that graduate from our vocational training colleges, said Banda.
In her remarks, There Is Hope (TIH) Programs Manager, Catherine Chirwa, urged students to work hard during their studies to acquire adequate skills through the training which runs from July to December, this year.
It is my hope that after graduation, the students will open up small businesses and employ others, thereby reducing unemployment rates among the youth which is a challenge in our country, said Chirwa.
One of the students selected to pursue a course in Plumbing, Keledi Kudyakutuma Kameta, thanked TIH for introducing vocational courses in the district, saying it will assist a lot of poor young men and women who are struggling to find vocational skills because of lack of tuition fees.
TIH, a Christian non-governmental organisation is implementing a two-year Capacity Building of Vulnerable Young Adults project in Dowa through vocational training with funding from the European Union.
It is expected that through the project, 360 young adults in Dowa will be trained in different vocational courses such as plumbing, carpentry and joinery, and brick-laying.
Source: Malawi News Agency