MINISTER of Youth and Sport Emmanuel Mulenga says government is seriously addressing the high levels of youth unemployment.

Mulenga said government had so far placed about 5,000 youths on internship and apprentice programmes in public institutions and the private sector.

Mulenga said he was confident that youth unemployment would be addressed.

He said this when he opened a meeting between the National Youth Development Council in Partnership with the International Labour Organisation and the private sector in Ndola.

“The levels of unemployment is so high. But we are certainly sure that these challenges will be addressed. In order to overcome the challenges, the government is promoting increased private sector participation in skills development through work based learning,” Mulenga said.

He said the government believed in private sector participation as a way to reduce youth unemployment.

“As critical partners in development, the government and indeed my ministry believes that public and private sector partnerships and collaborations are key to sustainability and successful implementation of programmes such as this. It is a well known fact that the youth of Zambia continue to face significant obstacles in transitioning into labour markets, thus affecting their employability,” he said.

He said to reduce the levels of unemployment, 5,000 youths had been placed as interns and apprentices in various organisations.

“The Government is trying to reduce levels of unemployment among the youth by targeting 9,000 interns and apprentices. Therefore, the collaborations between the International Labour Organisation, so far 5,000 have been placed as interns and apprentices mainly in public institutions and private sector,” said Mulenga.