NOEL IYOMBWA writes
YOUTH unemployment remains a key challenge in Zambia today, says information technology (IT) specialist cum carpenter James Mulenga.
Mr Mulenga said according to World Bank estimates, youths made up almost two thirds of the Zambia’s working-age population and almost one quarter of them were unemployed.
He said the persons concerned lacked the kind of education, training and effective vocational guidance that would match industry needs, adding that unless things improved, the future looks bleak.
Only a small share of the young generation got public-sector jobs as the formal sector employment in general was hard to find.
Mulenga however implored youths not to wait for formal employment from government and other companies.
He said he worked for five years at Ambro Electronics but n lost employment after the company was sold in 2015.
After losing his job, Mulenga started how own business which did not succeed but later on year he did a research in carpentry and joinery after being inspired by his colleague.
In April he made a head board and a bed which he advertised on social media and to surprise, the two products where bought instantly.
“I have never done any formal training in carpentry and joinery but I just did a research because my friend is a carpenter. Last month I tried to make a headboard and a king size bed, and to my surprise, the two products where instantly bought because I posted the two products on face book,”
He was now able to make anything from sofas, benches, stools and display cabinets.
He disclosed that he has no intentions of going back to his career job because he has now found a new career in carpentry.
“I am more enjoying doing carpentry job and I have no plans of going back to my career as an IT specialist all I need are few machines and man power because am having a lot of orders, as we are speaking I have ten orders for king size beds,
He however bemoan the lack of financial institutions to lend money for the expansion of business adding that most banks he has approached for a loan want a business that has been running for a long time.
He further stated that his aim is to open his own outlets and employ other youths adding that at the moment he has only employed one person.