Beitbridge Vocational Training Centre (VTC) which was forced to close four years ago because of personnel exodus remains shut because staff that left the institution in search for greener pastures at the height of Zimbabwe’s economic turmoil has not returned, NewsDay can reveal.
In an interview on Tuesday, Matabeleland South VTCs Principal Augustine Masilela said due to the proximity of the VTC to South Africa, the institution had for the past four years suffered a serious staff exodus and low enrolment.
“The institution was closed in 2006 and has remained closed to date as the staff crisis continues to haunt the college. The institution is supposed to have a staff complement of 14 but all the workers comprising trainers, administrators and accounting staff skipped the border into South Africa and we have failed to attract new staff to date,” he said.
Masilela said the institution needed four trainers and 10 support staff for it to operate at full capacity. Other than the principal, there is no single member of staff at the institution at the moment.
He said even the youths who were supposed to enrol at the institution were shunning it due to the shortage of trainers.
Masilela said Beitbridge VTC was supposed to be a satellite for nearby Guyu Training Centre.
Before it eventually closed, the institution had serious infrastructural problems and depended on the District Development Fund (DDF) buildings.
“We are in the process of constructing our own infrastructure and the local council has since identified a site for the development of the Beitbridge VTC,” Masilela said.
“The only thing delaying the construction process is that the Ministry of Youth Development responsible for the VTCs does not have the money.” said Masilela.
Guyu VTC also suffered a serious setback due to shortage of staff and its alleged involvement in the training of national service youths.
Masilela Guyu VTC was reopened last year in March after a long closure.
Masilela is the principal for five VTCs in Matabeleland South, namely, Pangani in Filabusi, Avoca in Plumtree, Guyu in Gwanda, Esigodini VTC and Beitbridge VTC which is currently closed.
He said the VTCs in the province had very low enrolment.
The principal urged youths in the province to take up the opportunity and enrol with the institutions for the betterment of their future.