This partnership between Bata and our training centre will help to bridge the skills gap. The hope is that eventually these students will set up a small business, once they have completed the full two years of training.
Giving real opportunities to talented young people
Amon Chapisa has been lecturing in leather and footwear at Mupfure for 15 years. “The course teaches students how to make the full range of products that are made from leather. It is designed to build skills with progressively challenging items. When they get to shoemaking it combines theoretical background with hand-on training that takes them through every stage in the process.”
Access to materials and expertise
The partnership with Bata has now given these students access to the real-world training that the course was missing before: “At the start of the project we spent one week at Bata being trained. This was for the full group of six students, along with me, their instructor. When we arrived back we were in a position to start making sandals here in our workshop that can be sold in Bata stores.” But more importantly, it also gives them access to materials and a sales channel: two aspects that training centres are not in a position to deliver on without private sector support.
Potential for growth
Mupfure Training Centre is for students who are 18 years or older and want to train in a profession. The lecturers work closely with the students to assess their aptitude and skills and guide them into a field that matches their abilities and interests. The first team that are part of the footwear training program with Bata is making three varieties of sandals, but the plan is to soon introduce a second team within the same workshop facility and to expand the range of products produced here.
“We worked very closely to get this project started, particularly on the renovation of the workshop and the health and safety requirements. Working with Bata in this kind of private-public partnership is the best way for us to enhance our training and production.” Mr Ncube, Principal of the Mupfure Training Centre.