Dar es Salaam. The government has borrowed $120 mil(Sh270 billion) from the World Bank to hone the skills of Tanzania’s youth in various vocational undertakings.
The deputy permanent secretary in the ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Prof James Mdoe, said honing youth’s skills is important for Tanzania to achieve its goal of becoming a semi-industrialized, middle-income nation as outlined in the country’s National Development Vision 2025.
Speaking on the sidelines of a forum to discuss youth capacity building in Dar es Salaam, Prof Mdoe said once the money is injected into the programme for training youth as envisaged, there will be no need for investors to acquire workers from abroad.
Sponsored by the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), the forum brought together several stakeholders from the private and public sectors of the economy who – among other things – discussed the need to form sectoral councils to advise the government on the components that need to be featured in the training courses as planned.
“The monies we borrowed from the World Bank will be acquired in the same style as that of higher education. The beneficiaries will be youth in colleges at the lower levels, as well as those who have been trained in short courses,” Prof Mdoe stated. The money will be disbursed as part of the implementation of a five-year programme titled ‘Education and skills for productive jobs,’ implementation of which started last year.
He said the government will thoroughly analyse investors’ labour requirements before deciding on which areas should be given priority in the disbursement of the funds.
Acting through sectoral councils, the government ensures that some graduate youth are exposed to special training courses that meet the needs of investors, Mr Mdoe said.
As it is, the project is being implemented by the ministry in collaboration with the National Council for Technical Education (Nacte), the Vocational Education and Training Authority (Veta), the Higher Education Students’ Loans Board (HESLB) and the Tanzania Commission for Universities (TCU).
The TPSF executive director, Mr Godfrey Simbeye, said the move by the government to invest in producing appropriately skilled youth in the industry sector is highly commendable – adding that the private sector invariably gives priority to youth training.
“To us (private sector), this is a commendable change from the usual borrowing for infrastructure development to capacity building through trainings to meet investors’ needs. We had missed this component for long and, thus, our people had failed to secure jobs,” he said. According to Mr Simbeye, the private sector has been entrusted with the task of presiding over the National Skills Council, forming sectoral skills councils starting with six sectors of the economy. These are agriculture, tourism, transportation, energy, construction and ICT.