INCREASING enrolment in vocational education and training institutions is cited as one of the key measures to tackle unemployment challenges in the country.
This is because such institutions provide learners with essential skills by enhancing their employability and supporting their personal development.
The World Bank (WB) collection of development indicators show that the unemployment rate, total per cent of total labour force and modelled ILO estimate in Tanzania, was reported at 2.74 per cent in 2021. Tanzania youth unemployment rate for 2021 was 4.60 per cent, a 0.21 per cent increase from 2020.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in its Integrated Labour Force Survey 2020/21 that the government and education stakeholders should work together to yield a long term benefit of improving general skills of the labour force.
KCB Bank Tanzania through its KCB Foundation is taking a step further by coming up with several initiatives that addresses the problem of unemployment through skills and enterprise development.
This programme is being implemented under the flagship of ‘KCB 2jiajiri programme’ established in 2016. And, recently, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa launched the new partnership between KCB Foundation and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) to increase the employability and income generation of 966 Tanzanian youth in the construction sector.
The Premier pointed out that the country needs sufficient labour force to work in different economic sectors including agriculture, mining, fishing, construction and others.
“Youth empowerment is key in ensuring national economic growth, this is because youth form a huge source of manpower that can work in different sectors,” the PM said: “I commend this partnership between KCB and GIZ for supporting 960 youth and the government is fully supporting the cause.
” The project is implemented in five regions Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Morogoro, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Also, it was covered Unguja in Zanzibar. The EUR 846,000 (2.2bn/-) partnership from October 2021 until October this year has been providing youth with technical and vocational skills training. The funds will also support the provision of construction toolkits to youth, to enable them to start up business enterprises in the construction sector.
The trainings are provided under the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) in mainland and Vocational Training Authority in Zanzibar (VTA).
The trainings cover six months period where three months involve in-class training and three months in field to ensure students receives both theory and hands-on skills. The beneficiaries are trained on welding, plumbing, electrical installation, aluminium, painting, and sign writing.
All these courses have experienced an increased market demand thus offering employment potentials to youth. The Acting Group Regional Businesses Director and Managing Director of KCB Tanzania, Mr Cosmas Kimario, said the bank is planning to enrol more youth this year to widen the opportunity for many Tanzanians.
“This year, the KCB Foundation will enrol another 5,000 youth in Tanzania, and this is the largest enrolment we have ever done. “We believe that this initiative will create more opportunities and ultimately ensure a greater impact for many Tanzanians,” Mr Kimario said.
According to the 2022 census results youth accounts to 34.5 per cent of the total population, a slight decrease from 34.7 per cent in 2012. Also, looking at the labour force, Tanzania has reported an increase in the working force (aged 15-64) whereby 52.7 per cent are male and 54.2 per cent are female.
The increase was 1.6 per cent and 0.9 per cent, respectively. The statistics show undeniably that empowering youth is the cornerstone towards achieving national development plans.
The NBS Integrated Labour Force Survey 2020/21 shows that there is decline in employment to population ratio in Tanzania from 77.4 per cent in 2014 to 75.4 per cent in 2020/21.
The decline which measures the ability of the economy to expand to absorb labour is partly attributed to expanding enrolment in education for working age population emanating from universal education currently implemented by the government.
Over the years, KCB Tanzania, through KCB Foundation, has been implementing several initiatives dedicated to empower communities inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), youth being one of the areas of focus. KCB Group CEO, Paul Russo said are pleased to join hands with GIZ to make a significant contribution through the youth in the construction sector.
“We are cognizant of the role of the youth in the transformation of an economy and how important the construction sector is in driving the growth of Tanzania through its multiplier effects on other industries,” Mr Russo said.
The Country Director for GIZ, Dr Mike Falke, said the cooperation aligned with the priorities of the government in addressing the skill gap and promoting employment in the country.
The KCB Tanzania Board Chairman, Mr John Ulanga, said the programme is in line with the bank’s strategy to drive sustainability in the country by providing solutions to problems facing Tanzanians and ensuring they deliver a long-lasting impact.
“We are confident that this partnership is for the greater good of youth in Tanzania and will create a long-lasting impact through increased employment, innovation, and entrepreneurship growth, thus creating a sustainable future,” said Mr Ulanga.