World Bank announced US$120 million for skill development projects targeting 30,000 youth in Tanzania

A new World Bank initiative has been launched to help Tanzanian youth improve the quality of their skills and tap into the country’s key economic sectors. The US$120 million programme announced by World Bank will see at least 30,000 trainees in university, technical, vocational and alternative programmes benefit from an initiative designed to help eradicate deficiencies in workforce skills in Tanzania. The initiative is being funded under the World Bank’s International Development Association.

Dubbed Education and Skills for Productive Jobs, the project aims to improve the quality, quantity and relevance of skills vital for sustainable development and employment. This will strengthen the institutional mechanisms of Tanzania’s new National Skills Development Strategy – NSDS 2016-2021 – which aims to boost the supply of quality labor for industries. According to the World Bank, it is critical that Tanzania promotes short-term approaches to capacity building such as short-cycle training and firm-based training in addition to vocational, technical and university training.

Young people will be trained in key economic areas such as tourism and hospitality; agriculture, agribusiness and agro-processing; transport and logistics; construction; information and communications technology; and energy. According to a World Bank statement, Tanzanian firms have identified a skills gap that is higher than the average in Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world. The country also has low levels of skills compared to other developing countries, and the gap is greater at medium and higher skills levels. An information document states that about 32% of the population has either no primary education or incomplete primary education. Around 46% of people have completed primary education.

In addition, a large proportion of unsuccessful firms have complained of skills constraints, with 63% reporting that a lack of workers with the right skills contributed to their failure. Long-term development “The improvement of human capital by helping to address the skills gap is critical for the attainment of the country’s goal to become an industrialized economy, create income opportunities and reduce poverty,” said Bella Bird, World Bank country director for Tanzania, Malawi, Burundi and Somalia.

“But also with the population of job-seeking youths growing ever so rapidly, these actions are important for long-term development.” The five-year initiative will be implemented in accordance with the Tanzanian government’s National Skills Development Strategy guidelines under the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training. The project will support the progress of integrated reporting and management of information systems, to enable the ministry to collect, consolidate and use real time data on service delivery for planning and monitoring. The project will also provide funding to support training institutions to develop systems to track post-training employment of graduates.

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