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Participants’ voice: focus on management and development

Interview with Mr John Suzyo Banda, National Coordinator of a project in youth employment in Zambia and participant in the “Validation Workshop of the Training Package on Decent Work for Youth”

I understand you have been at the Centre in different capacities. Can you tell us about your experience here?

I have come to Turin at least once a year since 2010. I participated in the following workshops:

  • Effective Communication and Lobbying for Employers Organizations (2010)
  • Business Agenda, Policy Analysis and Services for Employers Organization (2010)
  • HIV AIDS Workplace Programmes for Employers’ Organizations (2011)
  • Master’s in Management of Development (2012)
  • Macro-economics and Modelling for Labour Market Analysis (2013)


I have been at the Centre in different capacities, first as an employee of the Zambia Federation of Employers (ZFE) when I attended training activities on how to make employers’ organizations effective. Secondly, I came here as Master’s degree student in Management of Development, implemented in cooperation with the University of Turin. And now I am at the Centre to validate the training package on Decent Work for Youth.

 

What were your personal and institutional objectives for attending the training activities at the Centre?

The Centre’s training programmes are practically oriented. They empower participants and give them the confidence to implement what they learn. As an employee of ZFE, I was able to recruit more members and provide effective and efficient services after the training. I also formalised the cooperation between the Federation and SHARE (a USAID funded programme) in the area of HIV/AIDS in the workplace thanks to the skills I acquired at the Centre.

 

Have these programmes given you inputs and ideas for action?

My project in the Master’s Programme was on youth employment. Shortly after the Master’s I was offered a job by the ILO as a National Project Coordinator for the Youth Employment Project. This position involves giving technical assistance to the government and social partners to develop a National Youth Employment Strategy.  It also involves improving access to business development services and finance for young men and women. Indeed, I was adequately prepared by the Master’s in Management of Development, so I took up the position with confidence and the results speak for themselves. The Youth Employment Strategy has been prepared and is to be launched soon.

These skills, coupled with my experience in youth employment, enabled me to provide inputs to the Training Package on Decent Work for Youth, making sure that it reflects the perspectives of African and developing countries.

 

In your opinion, how can the Centre’s training activities contribute to personal and institutional success?

The Centre’s approach to training, where participants learn by doing, the presence of experienced human resources from academia and industry, and the diversity of participants have been instrumental to my personal development and to the career development of participants.

At the Centre one is able to learn a lot from different cultures. Therefore, I would encourage readers to take advantage of ITC-ILO training activities to make a difference in their workplace, communities and countries, in particular among the many unemployed and disadvantaged young people.

 

Would you have a special message to convey in this regard?

Lastly and most importantly, I would say that many countries are able to develop good policies but these good policies are poorly implemented – if they are implemented at all. New development experts should focus on designing policies with programmes that are implementable and monitor their progress. I am inspired by the 2012 International Labour Conference’s Resolution – A CALL FOR ACTION ON YOUTH EMPLOYMENT. I am happy they called not for planning but for action.

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