On 30 June 2020, COL and Luanshya Technical Business College (LTBC) in Zambia signed an agreement to collaborate on the next phase of their Skills in Demand project. LTBC’s core team and three representatives from the industry partner Nakadoli Furniture Co-operative were present at the signing ceremony, with COL’s ES TVSD and the Director, Development from Zambia’s Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority joining the event online.
"Our vision is to see to it that through the partnership and support from COL we train members of the Nakadoli Furniture Cooperative and empower them with knowledge and life sustaining skills which can offer them an opportunity of being employed by the industry," said Dr Samuel Moyo, LTBC Principal.
The project will formalise an existing informal apprenticeship through a strong partnership between a formal TVET institute and an informal co-operative. The model builds on the existing centuries’ old apprenticeship model and supplements it with the use of technology to teach theory and gather evidence of practical skills from the workplace. Following a project design workshop last year, the three partners will work on capability building and OER development. Furniture making is a priority skill for Zambia and the intention is to scale the model across other furniture cooperatives once proven through this partnership.
"We hope that we will be trained to improve our knowledge and skills in furniture making to the expected standard as this will mean that we may have more customers for our quality products as well as certification which may give us employment," said Kelvin Chansa, Nakadoli Furniture Co-operative Chairperson.