Looking for skilled workers? Get your act together, they will come forth

Editor, I wish to respond to the story, “Lack of skilled labour slows regional growth, say experts” (The New Times, September 21).
Technical and vocational skills are relevant today more than ever. The New Times/Courtesy
Technical and vocational skills are relevant today more than ever. The New Times/Courtesy

Editor,

I wish to respond to the story, “Lack of skilled labour slows regional growth, say experts” (The New Times, September 21).

This blame game must end if the situation is to be improved. A situation where the unemployed blame employers, employers blame colleges, and colleges blame leaders and so on, is not helpful. Africans must forge their way into industrialisation.

The first step is hiring the right people; stop hiring engineers, managers, marketers, who never designed anything, never set a foot in a production plant, never produced, packaged or marketed anything. Skilled labour is formed, trained on assembly lines, on machines.

During the automotive boom in Michigan in the 1990’s, it took only three days to train a new employee on how to run a machine and start making parts, and if special skills were needed, a hunt for that person would begin wherever they would be located and he would be brought onboard within three weeks.

Africans should cut bureaucracy, endless meetings on anything and everything, figure out what you want to make and start a global manhunt for that person who has done it and who would help you make it; it needs a rebirth of the mindset, of overhauling the whole system if you want to diffuse a ticking bomb of millions and millions of young, unemployed, educated on the African continent.

The social unrest of these young people once pushed to desperation will be of biblical proportion. Thank you.

AR, Chicago
United States

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I agree with AR and think that we all know what needs to be done. In some African countries, there are some people who end up becoming ministers of labour but have no clue about what needs to be done to ensure skilled labour. And their subordinates, too, hardly understand what needs to be done!

Sadly this is true in most countries across Africa.

These officials only attend meetings to get travel allowances and to stay in good hotels. What is agreed on is left there and never implemented. For such leaders, it’s as simple as get your 3Bs – bread, butter and beer – and, never mind, the rest will take care of itself.

It’s about time we changed our attitudes towards work and get things done.

Mark, Kigali

 

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