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.