ILO braces youth skills development as we celebrate its Centenary this year and the World Youth Skills Day 2019

ILO braces youth skills development as we celebrate its Centenary this year and the World Youth Skills Day 2019

The ILO works towards youth skills development through its Skills and Employ­ability Branch (Skills). Work­ing with the mantra of tri­partism, the ILO supports governments, employers’ and workers’ associations around the world to move young people into productive and decent work.

ILO continues to cel­ebrate its 100th anni­versary 2019, embarking on a journey through its past, present and future.

The centenary is celebrated in a series of global, regional and national events. In Tan­zania, 100th anniversary com­memoration is spiced up as it shares phenomenal timing with World Youth Skills Day.

World Youth Skills Day was set to raise an aware­ness about the importance of youth skills development.

What makes it more intrigu­ing, youth skills development initiatives are at the heart of ILO’s objectives, and thus ILO emerges filled with aplomb celebrates this remarkable moment with synergies.

Over the time, ILO has been entrenching efficient guidelines that help youth to redefine their roles and defending their deprived rights at workplaces, and work on their prospects.

This year the UN’s obser­vance of the WYSD will shed light on the mecha­nisms needed to opera­tionalize lifelong learning.

Seating for an interview with The Citizen, Director of ILO Country Office Dar es Salaam, Mr. Wellington Chibebe unfolded the work done, mile­stones reached and plans for future regarding the marking of ILO Centenary and World Youth Skills Day 15 July 2019.

The United Nations declared in 2014, for 15th July to be the World Youth Skills Day. What has the ILO done so far at global level and in Tanzania to support youth skills devel­opment as a way to allevi­ate the youth unemployment scourge?

The ILO works towards youth skills development through its Skills and Employ­ability Branch (Skills). Work­ing with the mantra of tri­partism, the ILO supports governments, employers’ and workers’ associations around the world to move young people into productive and decent work. The ILO and key partners work to con­duct comparative research, provide policy guidelines, technical assistance to help countries integrate skills development into national development strategies.

In Tanzania the ILO Skills branch is working with the government to link train­ing to current labour market needs as well as tackling the problematic skills mismatch. The ILO and the Tanzanian government have success­fully teamed up on two skills development initiatives; The Quality Apprentice­ship Programme in Hotels Operations and Recogni­tion of Prior Learning (RPL).

The Apprenticeship pro­gramme is implemented in Zanzibar, Arusha and Dar es Salaam and thanks to the governments of Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar, we now have the country’s first fully accredited apprentice­ship programme.

The pro­gramme works because it provides a much needed ave­nue for employers to shape the skills and knowledge of future employees. It allows young Tanzanians from low-income backgrounds who lack tertiary level education to experience on-the-job training, work while earning and receive a level 5 nation­ally accredited certification in Hospitality after 2 years of Apprenticeship training.

The ILO is marking its cente­nary this year, 2019. Please let us know some of the organization’s achievements globally?

Marking the Centenary is an opportunity to look back and celebrate the ILO’s his­tory and achievements also to look forward to its future. It is also a unique platform to reaffirm the relevance of the ILO’s social justice mandate and Decent Work Agenda, and to chart a path that will enable the Organization to meet new challenges as it enters its second century.

During the just ended ILO’ ILC, in June 2019, a Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work was adopted. This was with consideration that, the Centenary is being marked at a time of transformative change in the world of work, driven by technological inno­vations, demographic shifts, environmental and climate change, and globalization, as well as at a time of persis­tent inequalities, which have profound impacts on the nature and future of work.

The ILO has played an important role at key his­torical junctures – from the Great Depression in the 1930s, decolonization, the creation of the independent trade union Solidarność in commu­nist Poland, the victory over apartheid in South Africa, to the quest for decent work for all for a fair globalization. To date the ILO has adopted 190 Conventions and 206 Recom­mendations. This includes the new Convention and accom­panying Recommendation to combat violence and harass­ment in the world of work.

What are the ILO’s short and long term plans in developing skills for the youth in Tan­zania?

Yes, short term planning with an eagle eye on the long term goal is the strategy here. Through initiatives like the Apprenticeship programme the ILO aims to build and strengthen existing skills development mechanisms but a large part of efforts go towards supporting the gov­ernment in designing and adopting national frame­works for skills development.

Tanzania now has its first fully adopted National Apprenticeship Guidelines and implemented the first ful­ly accredited formal Appren­ticeship programme at tech­nical level 5. This is a very big stride for the Tanzanian gov­ernment. Another long term goal is to work with the gov­ernment and training institu­tions such as VETA to identify even more occupations for the assessment and accredita­tion under the Recognition of Prior learning programme.

What are the major challeng­es facing the skills develop­ment sector worldwide and in Tanzania?

The first is a growing skills mismatch, which refers amongst other things, to the mismatch between the demand for skilled labour and its supply leading to growing inequalities. The informal sec­tor is the source of employ­ment for as many as nine in ten young workers in devel­oping nations like Tanzania.

The second challenge is that the world of work is chang­ing rapidly, providing new opportunities and challenges. Technological advancement is facilitating new business mod­els and new ways that work­ers engage in work. Increased automation and computer­ization, however, are caus­ing major disruption and, in some cases, a replacement of tasks leading to job loss. This means that we need to rethink our skills development strat­egies to meet new demand. This does not have to spell disaster, in fact, technological advancements can yield more employment opportunities. Think about the increased number of drivers in Dar es Salaam after the advent of services such as Uber.

Tanzania is aspiring to trans­form into a Semi-industrial­ized country by 2025. What are the measures the govern­ment should take to create skilled personnel ready to participate in this national drive?

First let me recognize the efforts and investment that the Government and social partners are putting in place to move the coun­try towards middle income industrialized country.

Let’s note that every coun­try including Tanzania have unique context and capacities and institutional arrange­ments which are different from another country and so on.

What ILO does is to pro­vide platform for member states to meet, discuss, share and agree on set of common standard on matters related to labour and employment and the world of work in general. For TVET and skills develop­ment part of the ILO Recom­mendation on HRD 2004, reiterate the need Calling on Governments, Employers and Workers to renew their com­mitment to lifelong learning: governments by investing and creating the conditions to enhance education and train­ing at all levels; enterprises by training their employees; and individuals by making use of the education, training and lifelong learning opportunities.

Regarding the measures that should be taken: One of the key component in skills development for each coun­try is proper coordination and governance arrange­ments. Because often, skills development is cross cut­ting and is sometimes placed in different Ministries.