BANKS must consider employing young graduates with professional skills to accord them an opportunity to practice what they have learnt, says Bank of Zambia (BoZ) senior supervisory policy director Chisha Mwanakatwe.

Mr Mwanakatwe said banks, micro-finance and other financial service providers needed to recognise the achievements of young graduates by employing them so that they could practice their theory.

He was speaking at the Zambia Institute of Banking and Financial Services (ZIBFS) 15th graduation ceremony while representing the BoZ Governor Dr Denny Kalyalya in Lusaka at the Government Complex.

“I would also ask banks and other financial service providers to consider in conjunction with the colleges and the institute the possibility of offering short periods on attachment to students,” he said.

Mr Mwanakatwe said professionalism was not only about the theory of banking but about the practical skills required of a banker.

He said continuous professional development was essential because training on the theoretical side went hand in hand with technical and skills training.

Mr Mwanakatwe also advised the graduates to develop a rapport with their clients once employed and explain to them how the bank services could benefit them.

“You will be working in a service industry where there is day to day contact with the public and the need to offer them helpful and friendly services.

“As bankers, you will need to develop a rapport with your clients and be able to explain to them how the bank services you are offering them work and how they can benefit from them,’’ he said.

He commended the school management for its concerted efforts to coach the students and courses put in place.

Speaking earlier, ZIBFS president Cephas Chabu said the institution had entered into partnership with the financial sector in order to deepen knowledge and offer a high profile course. Mr Chabu said 23 students had so far completed their studies under the same programme and that they would be awarded an executive diploma in SME relations management.

He also said the number of graduates at the institution had increased from 516 recorded in 2015 to 619 in 2016, representing a growth of 20 percent.

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