The power generation industry plays an important role in the revival of the economy .However ,it is experiencingÂ 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 neighboringÂ countries as well as abroad due to challengingÂ economic conditions during the past decade, created a gap that is proving difficult to fill, a situation that has led to the countryâ€™sÂ power strategicÂ entities such as ZESAÂ Holdings and HwangeÂ Colliery Company struggling to retain staff towards the maintenance of equipment and renovation ofÂ 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 skilledÂ workersÂ to operate , control and maintainÂ machineryÂ may act as a hindrance in attracting investment
Â An industrial consultantÂ MrÂ MemoryÂ 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 pasturesÂ can return to facilitate the recovery of the power generation industry.
While the industryÂ isÂ 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,Â but aÂ HumanÂ ResourcesÂ expert, MsÂ Â Patience Peruse says the revival of the industry needs a social contract wherebyÂ Government, Labour and businesses areÂ importantÂ in unlocking human capital .
Even though the countryâ€™s institutions of higher learning are churning out thousandsÂ of graduatesÂ yearly, the Managing Director for a local labour consultancy firm,Â MrÂ ZacksÂ Murerwa believesÂ thatÂ there is the need to retain experienced staffÂ so that they can provideÂ assistanceÂ to job seekersÂ in the power industry.
MrÂ Murerwa said while Zimbabwe hasÂ adequate infrastructure to attract investmentÂ towards the recapitalizationÂ of power stations that areÂ operating below capacity levelsÂ thereÂ is the need to mobilise fundsÂ so that skilled workers areÂ favorablyÂ remunerated.
Â Skills shortages affecting the power generating industry should be dealt with as a matter of urgencyÂ to ensure that the countryâ€™s objectives on economic recovery are achieved .