Tackling youth unemployment through vocational skills in Tanzania
Tanzania's huge youth population lacks the skills to take part in growing industries like gas. Unless we invest in youth, they'll be left behind and excluded from opportunities.
VSO's Enhancing Employability Through Vocational Training (EEVT) project has been improving the quality of vocational training in Lindi and Mtwara regions since 2012. It is helping young people find work in new industries or start their own successful businesses: graduate employment rate is up 30%.
Support has included:
- Long-term coaching of vocational teachers by specialist VSO volunteers, and curriculum reviews
- Refurbishment of workshops and facilities to develop trades and skills
- Young Entrepreneur Society established to support youth with business plans and market linkages
- Advisory committee of private sector providing technical inputs, advice and internships
Increased teaching quality
Expert volunteers coach instructors in trades like electrical installation, carpentry and welding and fabrication, to improve teaching and saftety standards.
Eighteen teachers now hold City & Guilds accreditation, and staff and students have access to an English speech lab - the first of its kind.
Students now also sit for City & Guilds alongside local VETA qualifications, and are doing better each year. Exam pass rates rose to 86.92% in 2015, a 10% improvement year-on-year.
More successful graduates
Youth unemployment is a major issue in Lindi and Mtwara.
Before EEVT, fewer than one in three VETA graduates was in work after two years. Now, more than half find a job within six months.
Hundreds of students now gain experience via work placements with local and international companies. Graduates with entrepreneurial ambition have received support to start their own businesses.
Private sector linkages
“VSO has a very strong reputation in Tanzania and the long-term programmatic approach fits well with BG Group’s approach.”
Ramanie Kunanayagam, Head of BG Social Performance
Tanzanian government policy is that foreign investment should benefit local communities.
Following the disovery of 42.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas potential off the Mtwara coast, VSO and BG Group launched an investigation into skills gaps that could prevent local people finding jobs in gas and related industries. The recommendations for change resulted in the EEVT project design.
Since then a host of local and international companies have lent their support. Young people have increased their exposure to major companies, while the skilled labour pool available for projects like Tanzania liquified national gas has increased.
EEVT exists thanks to public, private and civil society partnerships.
The project is managed by VSO, with funding and technical advice from BG Group. It is implemented by Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) and VSO. Since 2014, the project is supported by Tanzania LNG Plant Project- a joint venture combined of five major extractive companies (BG Group, Ophir, Pavilion Energy, ExxonMobil and Statoil).
Research partnerships with the Tanzania Department of Education and Stow College, Scotland have supported the project.
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