Tanzania has experienced steady economic growth over 20 years and transitioned from low-income to lower-middle-income status in July 2020. The country remains a lower middle-income country despite the global pandemic-induced contraction of GDP per capita in 2020 (World Bank 2022). However, if Tanzania is to achieve its Development Vision 2025 to become a middle-income country, it will need to develop a robust and diversely skilled labour force to drive further growth.
Tanzania’s skills development system is overwhelmed by 800,000 young people who enter the labour market each year while the total capacity of the formal TVET system is about 400,000 to 500,000 trainees (ILO 2019). Informal training remains the only option for most young people, particularly those from rural areas and low-income backgrounds. Tanzania has a predominantly informal economy with scarce wage employment for its rapidly growing youth population. A majority of the country’s youth population, estimated at 42 Million (UNICEF 2022) enter the labour market through self-employment.
To mitigate these challenges, Tanzania envisages a comprehensive restructuring of its economy by strengthening its skills development system through the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS 2016/17–2025/26). The strategy covers formal, non-formal and informal skills development to respond to the needs of both the formal and informal economies. It focuses on six sectors identified as priorities which offer high returns on skills and strong potential for job creation: agribusiness; tourism and hospitality; energy; transport and logistics; construction; and information and communication technologies.
Strengthening the skills of youth in these sectors will put Tanzania on a trajectory for development that combines growth with poverty reduction and shared prosperity.
The ILO continues to work with the Government of Tanzania, workers’ and employers’ organisations to create a better future for young women and men in Tanzania by:
- Supporting national skills development programmes
- Building capacities of TVET institutions to strengthen skills development programmes
- Supporting skills recognition and quality assurance to assure recognition through accepted standards
- Supporting skills anticipation to ensure that training responds to labour market needs
- Ensuring social inclusion of disadvantaged groups and individuals in TVET systems.