hwange.jpgThe power generation industry plays an important role in the revival of the economy .However ,it is experiencing  skill shortages in a move likely to hinder efforts by Government and private sector to restore normal power supplies to industry and households.

 

While the skill shortages have affected all the important sectors of the economy , the power industry has not been spared as it has lost specialized workers such as artisans, technicians, electricians, engineers and mechanics.

The skilled workers who left the country for greener pastures in neighboring  countries as well as abroad due to challenging  economic conditions during the past decade, created a gap that is proving difficult to fill, a situation that has led to the country’s  power strategic  entities such as ZESA  Holdings and Hwange  Colliery Company struggling to retain staff towards the maintenance of equipment and renovation of  power plants.

But given the fact that the economy is showing signs of recovery on the back of the current macro- economic stable climate, stakeholders are worried that shortages of skilled  workers  to operate , control and maintain  machinery  may act as a hindrance in attracting investment

 An industrial consultant  Mr  Memory  Nguwi says it is high time Government and the private sector formulate a policy aimed at retaining skills as well as ensuring that those workers who left for greener pastures  can return to facilitate the recovery of the power generation industry.

While the industry  is  experiencing financial challenges it has also proved difficult for power utility firms to come up with packages that match those being offered by other countries,  but a  Human  Resources  expert, Ms   Patience Peruse says the revival of the industry needs a social contract whereby  Government, Labour and businesses are  important  in unlocking human capital .

Even though the country’s institutions of higher learning are churning out thousands  of graduates  yearly, the Managing Director for a local labour consultancy firm,  Mr  Zacks  Murerwa believes  that  there is the need to retain experienced staff  so that they can provide  assistance  to job seekers  in the power industry.

 
Mr  Murerwa said while Zimbabwe has  adequate infrastructure to attract investment  towards the recapitalization  of power stations that are  operating below capacity levels  there  is the need to mobilise funds  so that skilled workers are  favorably  remunerated.

 Skills shortages affecting the power generating industry should be dealt with as a matter of urgency  to ensure that the country’s objectives on economic recovery are achieved .