Equipping the workforce with the skills required for the jobs of today and those of tomorrow is a strategic concern that will help Tanzania to realize the envisaged industrial economy come 2020 and attain the middle income economy come 2025.
Already, employers in Tanzania are feeling the impact of the talent shortage and they foresee this skills gap will get even worse over the coming years.
To prevent the situation from worsening, the Government through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has mandated TPSF to coordinate the establishment of Sector Skills Council (SSCs). The said SSCs will help to gather accurate skills gap information that will act as an aggregator of industry interests. SSCs will link key stakeholders such as firms, business associations, training providers, relevant ministries and regulatory agencies to discuss and align the skills gap information toward achieving demand driven skills through provision of relevant trainings.
Challenges with respect to skills of the Tanzanian workforce
Integrated Labour Force Surveys points out that out of a total working age population of 23.6 million people (between 16 and 64 years of age), only 2.3 million equivalent to 5% of the labour force, are employed in the formal sector. A total of 14.3 million are regarded as self-employed in the informal sector.
The vertical and horizontal mobility of the country’s labour is greatly limited since majority of the labour force has low level of skills. The fact is that, 79.9% of the employed labour force is in low skills level occupations, 66.6% are in medium skills level occupations while only 3.6% are in high level skills occupations.
As a nation it is important to reverse the situation to 12% for higher skills occupations, 34% or above for middle skills level occupations and less than 54% for low skills level occupations as required to attain middle income status.
Other challenges include unsatisfactory skills composition or skill-mix that is in the ratio of 1: 0.9: 0.7 for high/medium/low skills against the required of 1: 1.28: 9.8 .This challenge is compounded by low preference to technical and vocational level skills. Yet other additional challenges are poor soft skills such as ethics, team work, analytical, problem solving, and communication skills to meet the demand of employers.
Function of Sector Skills Councils
Identifying and prioritizing skills needs in their respective economic sector
Developing industry skills strategies and plans to achieve priority goals in line with the NSDS and Plan,
Defining and revising occupational and competency standards, training programs and curricula,
Facilitating industry membership on training institution boards,
Facilitating public private partnership in training delivery,
Promoting enterprise-based training for students and instructors
It is expected that, upon formation the respective SSCs may review these functions/roles, if need be, with a view of improvement.
Three basic sectors with high potential for economic growth and contribution to GDP, have been identified to include Agribusiness, Tourism and Hospitality, and Energy. Three supportive sectors include Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Construction, and Transport and Logistics.