NYS graduates to receive priority in education, employment sectors

Staff Reporter

Government has announced a significant policy shift favouring National Youth Service graduates through  a groundbreaking move set to reshape the of youth empowerment landscaping the country.

During yesterday’s post-Cabinet media briefing, the Minister of Information, Publicity, and Broadcasting Services, Dr Jenfan Muswere, outlined the Government's comprehensive strategy to prioritise these graduates in employment, education, and financial support for new ventures.

"Going forward, youths who complete training will receive priority in employment and enrolment into public sector and higher and tertiary education institutions, and will be prioritised for financial support to establish new projects and businesses," Minister Muswere emphasised.

The Minister said that since the Cabinet decision in 2021 to re-establish the National Youth Service Programme, notable progress has been made by the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Development, and Vocational Training.

Among the achievements highlighted by Minister Muswere were the drafting of the National Youth Service Bill following the approval of its principles in August 2023 and the establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Implementation Committee tasked with overseeing the programme's implementation.

Minister Muswere added that a new 6-month training programme, targeting youths between the ages of 18 and 35, has been developed. This innovative curriculum, set to commence in June 2024 with an initial enrolment of 750 youths across the country, includes three months of institutionalised training followed by three months of community attachment.

According to Minister Muswere, the curriculum will merge national orientation with life skills training and entrepreneurial development, ensuring that graduates are well-equipped to navigate day challenges.

Upon completion, participants will be awarded certificates that would signify their readiness to enhance the country’s labourforce o, more importantly, create employment opportunities for others. The certificates would also enable the youth to enrol at institutions of higher learning to further their education.

The Minister informed that in preparation for the programme's launch, new uniforms, signage, and a logo have been designed and are in the process of being registered.

Furthermore, Minister Muswere announced that a total of 10,000 youths were earmarked to undergo training in 2024, with recruits drawn equally from all of Zimbabwe's ten provinces to ensure nationwide representation and inclusivity.

Political commentator Edith Mushore said that the reintroduction of the National Youth Service Programme underscores the Government's commitment to ensuring that the youth, who form a substantial portion of the country's population, are not only well-prepared for the future but are also given the opportunities to actively contribute to national development.

Meanwhile, in a move reflective of the programme's evolution and renewed focus, the National Youth Service Programme has officially been renamed Youth Service in Zimbabwe.