Skills for Employment Tanzania

The Skills for Employment Tanzania (SET) Project seeks to improve (self-)employment prospects among the youth through the contribution to improved access, relevance and quality of Vocational Skills Development.
Mbeya, Tanzania
Iringa, Tanzania
Morogoro, Tanzania
Project duration
2022 - 2026
Financed by
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC

The project

Despite good economic performance in recent years, poverty in Tanzania remains high. With around 14 million people living below the national poverty line, Tanzania is one of the countries with the largest number of poor people in Africa. Poverty is particularly high in rural areas, where 80% of the country’s poor live. 

With an estimated population of 58 million (2020) Tanzania is the most populated country in the East African region and about 79% of Tanzanians are below the age of 35. A significant share of youth will be neither in education nor in jobs but in search of livelihood opportunities. SET addresses the unemployment challenges of this age group by improving access to and the quality of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system and by supporting self-employment and job creation in agriculture and the informal sector.

The Swiss-Government-funded project Skills for Employment Tanzania targets youth aged 15-24, especially young mothers who have left the education system; either because they have dropped out of school early or they have left school at the end of secondary or further education and have not yet settled in decent employment. In other words, they are unemployed, underemployed or have given up the search for work (out of the labour force). 

Considering the multi-dimensional challenges of young people to enter into gainful employment or self-employment, technical skills training alone is usually not sufficient to prepare young people to successfully enter and remain in the labour market. A variety of soft, life and employability skills are needed as well as individual counselling and coaching to support youth in this process. If the labour market is mainly offering self-employment, business skills and entrepreneurship development are key, combined with business development services according to needs. 

Against this background, Swisscontact uses the broader concept of Vocational Skills Development (VSD) reflecting comprehensive yet flexible interventions to increase the employability of young people. This includes not only the provision of technical and soft skills but also vocational orientation and counselling, internships/job placement as well as entrepreneurship and mentoring.

Project goals

The Skills for Employment project seeks to improve the prospects of gainful youth (self-) employment through a contribution to improved access, relevance, and quality of Vocational Skills Development (VSD). Achievement of this project goal will be measured by;

  • The capacities to define the right content of skills development programmes,  
  • The capacities of teachers to deliver the improved programmes at high quality, as well as;
  • The capacities of training providers to design, develop and implement programmes in a way that fits the needs of the different target groups.

Project partners

  • Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MoEST)
  • Ministry of Agriculture (MoA)
  • The National Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NACTVET)
  • Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA)
  • Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SuGECO)
  • Sustainable Agriculture Tanzania (SAT)

Expected Results

  • Labour market analyses of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology and the Ministry of Agriculture have been prepared with substantial private sector involvement.
  • 10,000 youth benefit from newly introduced Vocational Skills Development programmes (at least 60% female and at least 10% are young mothers)
  • 70% of non-formal curricula development/revision considers the needs of the private sector.
  • 70% of Continuing Professional Development-supported TVET teachers apply improved teaching strategies and techniques.
  • Specific improvements in the teaching environment, including teaching and learning materials, course curricula, available materials, course delivery, as well as Folk Development Colleges – vocational training centres in rural areas – and Management Information Systems, arising from the Continuing Professional Development.



Initial vocational education and training
Swisscontact celebrates Women’s achievement in Vocational Education in Tanzania
In commemoration of International Women's Day, Swisscontact in Tanzania joins the world in celebrating women and their achievements. This year’s theme should inspire others to understand and value women’s inclusion to forge a better world.
Initial vocational education and training
Digital Flowers: A Vocational Training Programme to Equip Young Mothers with Commercial Flower Production Skills and Link Them with Extension Services Using a Digital Tool
Between August and November 2023, the Skills for Employment Tanzania (SET) project in partnership with Nexis Africa Limited implemented the “Digital Flower” training programme in Morogoro Municipal. 150 young mothers were equipped with technical skills for commercial flower production and corresponding complementary services, like flower pot making. They were also trained on a digital application known as “Shamba+” (Swahili for “Farm”) to link them with remote extension services and on the use of social media as a marketing tool for their flower products.
Initial vocational education and training
Youth in Morogoro Region showcase their vocational skills at Skills Bonanza
Promoting and raising awareness of vocational skills development (VSD) have been showcased at a regional level in Morogoro. Across the region, around 13,000 people participated in a series of five mini-Skills Bonanzas[1] in the districts of Malinyi, Mlimba, Kilosa, Mvomero, and Gairo. During these events, trained youth showed off their skills in competitions linked to VSD. These games included creating clothing from cutting different types of paper to demonstrate tailoring skills and grinding the white meat (copra) from a coconut to show an aspect of food processing.