WORKERS with upgraded skills can help create a balance between exports and imports in developing countries by manufacturing world class products, says World Skills vice chair technical committee board of directors Dr Michael Fung.
Dr Fung observed that many developing countries lacked skills hence creating an imbalance in the management of imports and exports.
Speaking at a World skills Zambia professional forum in Lusaka, Dr Fung said the development of export-oriented industry was the way to take in achieving a balance between imports and exports faced by developing countries.
“In many developing countries, skilled workforce is the great support in achieving balance between exports and imports through setting up manufacturing industries,
“It is anticipated that skill labour will be in great demand in import substitution and export expansion,” he said.
He said Zambia in future would need more trained and upgraded workforce to manufacture and convert natural resources to higher value added products for exporting and reduce on imports.
Dr Fung explained that the role of skills in economic development was to maintain balance in the management of exports and imports.
He said upgraded skills of a workforce were one of the key factors of successful economic transformation.
“Zambia, just like Asia will in the future will need to have better trained workforce to manufacture and convert these natural resources to higher value added products to export and reduce on imports,
“First of all we have to strengthen our industrialisation so that skill development is crucial in the whole process of changing nation,” he said.
Meanwhile, World Skills Zambia board chairman Dr David Chakonta said joined world skills international in September last year.
Dr Chakonta said World Skills Zambia was established to promote skills excellence, innovation and productivity enhancement on the international competitiveness.
He said Zambia enjoyed services of people in the informal sector who if given an opportunity to enter skills competition could demonstrate their growth in skills.
And speaking on behalf of the National Council for Construction (NCC) executive director Chance Konga, said there was need to identify and groom skills in the construction sector.
Mr Konga said NCC had engaged secondary schools in career talks to create platform for pupils to be able to align their thinking towards pursuing vocational fields.
He said NCC wanted to see Zambians using skills to make a living and contribute to the development of the country.