Makers Place facility vital for jobs creation

Makers Place facility vital for jobs creation

STAKEHOLDERS in the leather industry are calling for establishment of a one-stop centre with leather products making facilities in the Lake Zone region to help students in the industry pursue self-employment after studies.

The call was made over the weekend during the leather stakeholders meeting organised by the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT), Mwanza Campus, which also involved the release of “Tracer Study Report of the year 2021”, showing that most of the graduates were found on self- employment but with very minimal investment capital, not beyond 100,000/-.

Commenting on the Report, Director for Jaet Lehoboth Leather Company, Dr Elibariki Mmari said that it was the time the government made use of the Livestock Development Fund to support students who complete studies on leather technology.

“The fund should be used for construction of the Maker Place, equipping the facility with all machinery to let the Campus graduates gather for leather products manufacturing, whose demand is high all over the world,” he said.

Basing on his long term experience in the leather industry, Dr Mmari affirmed that the minimum investment capital is at-least 5m/-, of which most graduates cannot afford.

He stressed that it is now a time to utilize the Livestock Development Fund, which was introduced during the third-phase government and the income are from raw skin exportation levies.

“The Fund is full now as its contents have never been channeled anywhere. Let it help these graduates in leather technology so that we can promote our local leather products,” he reiterated.

Projects Officer for the SOS Children’s Village, Ms Scolastica Misana, supported the motion, saying presence of the Maker Place would overcome unemployment to many youth.

She said that the SOS does collect youth at risk environments, send them to DIT and sponsor their leather courses, but most graduates were jobless due to lack of investment capital.

“DIT curricula are most useful since they are practical-based ones. Even short courses students do come up with competent skills in leather issues,” she commented.

DIT has been conducting the Tracer Study to establish an employment market for its products.

Tracer Study Report of the year 2021, Mwanza Campus that was conducted this year had involved about 374 graduates, with only 183, equal to 48 percent being responded, said the Study’s Chairman, who is also a Lecturer at DIT main Campus, Dr Ambele Mtafya.

Researchers found that 21.9 per cent of the respondents were in employment, with eight percent being in formal and 13.9 percent in self-employment, he said.

“We dealt with 2020/2021 graduates in Leather, Laboratory Science and Technology as well as ICT courses. However, as we have said, those in self-employment had very minimal investment due to limited capital,” said Dr Mtafya.

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Author: ABELA MSIKULA in Mwanza

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