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.
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;