Mopani Copper Mines PLC has handed over a cheque worth K80 million to the University of Zambia (UNZA) towards the successful hosting of the School of Mines symposium.
Presenting the cheque to UNZA Vice Chancellor Stephen Simukanga at the UNZA School of Mines in Lusaka on Friday 16th November 2016, Mopani Copper Mines Chief Services Officer Moses Chilangwa observed that the mining industry which is growing at a phenomenal rate currently faces a critical shortage of skilled personnel.
Mr Chilangwa said the industry lacks suitably trained and experienced technical personnel to support its operations.
He said the situation is compounded by the fact that graduates from local institutions do not possess the skills and competencies required for them to immediately fit into the jobs offered by the industry.
Mr Chilangwa stated that in most cases the recruiting companies have to retrain the graduates with on the job competencies at a very high cost.
He said it is his company’s firm belief that the symposium will help find workable solutions to the various challenges being faced in the mining industry particularly in the training and development of mining personnel.
The Mopani Copper Mines Chief Services Officer expressed delight to note that UNZA has set out on a path of reformation even as competition and demand for quality continues to grow.
He remained optimistic that UNZA, as a pioneer training institution in the country and using the School of Mines, will assist in bridging the skills gap and help to develop, train and produce graduates who are up to date with current technology methods in the mining industry.
Mr Chilangwa said his company will continue working in collaboration with UNZA to ensure a mutually beneficial environment is created where learning and industry move together and compliment each other’s efforts.
And speaking at the same function, UNZA Vice Chancellor Stephen Simukanga thanked Mopani Copper Mines for the gesture saying it will go a long way in ensuring the successful hosting of the mining symposium.
Professor Simukanga said UNZA and Mopani Copper Mines share a long standing relationship which dates back to the times when Mopani Copper Mines was known as Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM).
He said it was good that companies that were operating in the country plough back some of their profits back to the community through their corporate social responsibility programmes.
Prof. Simukanga further stated that it was through gestures like the one Mopani made that strengthens the linkages between graduates and the industry.
He hoped that the partnership will also culminate into the rehabilitation of the school.
Prof. Simukanga urged Mopani to also help equip the School of Mines with state of art equipments so that students are fully drilled for industry.