By Enock Balakasi
The German Chamber of Skilled Crafts (HWK) through the Malawi Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education and Training Authority (TEVETA) on Tuesday handed over a Newly Renovated and Equipped Fabrication and Welding Workshop at Lilongwe Technical College.
The gesture is a result of the TEVETA and HWK partnership project established in January 2017.
The project seeks to improve the quality of vocational education through enhancing interaction and networking between industry and vocational training institutions.
It targets the metal fabrication and welding sector with a focus to developing up skill training programmes in identified areas and building the capacity of TEVET provider institutions like Technical Colleges to offer short courses to facilitate specialization by artisans who already possess fabrication and welding skills.
According to an abstract of the TEVETA and HWK partnership project, the installation of the fabrication and welding workshop at Lilongwe Technical College comes in view of the dire need for such equipment at the facility.
TEVETA Executive Director Wilson Makulumiza Nkhoma said the workshop is capable of welding aluminum and projects that are resistant to great pressure.
“Stainless and steel companies in Malawi will no longer have to seek services of foreign experts to repair their disintegrated metal equipment,” Nkhoma assured.
Nkhoma said the selected instructors from Technical Colleges and technicians from companies will undergo a two week training of trainers at the workshop and then help with training in their institutions and workplaces.
The training will involve theoretical and practical learning of modules such as Manual Metal Arc Welding, Gas Metal Arc Welding, Oxyacetylene Gas Welding and Cutting and Gas Tangsten Arc Welding.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Minister of Labor, Youth, Spots and Manpower Development Francis Katsaira thanked the German Chamber of Skilled Crafts for the Workshop, saying it will bring about quality in Malawi’s manufacturing industry.
“Skilled staff in fabrication and welding are key in manufacturing if we are to have quality metal products and structures that will last longer,” emphasized Katsaira.
He said the HWK project increased its budget for the purchase of additional equipment by about 24 million kwacha under the condition that TEVETA/HWK agreement.
While the project partners must contribute to the coat of workshop renovation of about 6 million kwacha.
The TEVETA and HWK partnership project is part of the German Development Cooperation with Malawi and is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
On his part, Deputy Head of Mission of Cooperation at the German Embassy Thomas Staiger said the Cologne Chamber of Skilled Crafts, TEVETA and the Lilongwe Technical College have joined forces to fill the gap and offer training for specialized fabrication and welding.
“This is our core belief and one of the success factors that we identified in our experience from German. Technical and vocational education and training can be only successful, when it meets the demand of the private sector,” said Staiger.