My name is Tatenda Maunde and I am a 22 year old young man from Mt Darwin. I wrote my form four in 2020 and passed six Ordinary Level subjects but due to financial constraints, I could not continue with my education. I had lost hope for the future.
I was introduced to vocational education training by a friend who had just completed short courses at Ponesai Vanhu Technical College (PVTC). I used to think that only students with lower grades were the ones placed in TVET schools but later on, I realized that those who graduates from such schools were getting opportunities since their skills were meeting market labour demands. I then made up my mind and enrolled for a Tourism and Hospitality long course at PVTC.
I got training on the baking business, making business plans, creating strong client base and social media marketing. Although I am looking forward to finishing my studies, I understand the high unemployment rate among young people in Zimbabwe. Therefore, our training is heavily centered on entrepreneurship skills training for self -employment and I hope to get together with other students to start our own bakery. I believe that there is need for vocational schools to engage industry experts as guests’ instructors to improve student’s skills in line with labour demands.
I want to call upon the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education to establish Youth Employment Clubs, where current students, graduates from different careers and company representatives to allow for continued learning and sharpening of critical soft skills, such as planning, negotiation, and communication.