Dar es Salaam – The Tanzania Private Sector Foundation TPSF recently organized a dialogue meeting for the private sector/ employers dialogue. The occasion brought together stakeholders whose play a critical role in the process of enabling Tanzanians to achieve the plaguing goal of poverty reduction by the year 2025.
Since the opening up of a free market economy in the early 1990s by the Tanzanian government, the role of private sector has increasingly become instrumental in socio-economic development in Tanzania; this has gone in tandem with skills demand in the market.
Many strides have been witnessed across all sectors, from financial services to infrastructure development, the private sector has continuously played a key role in GDP growth, which has been averaging between 6% to 7% in the past ten years, job creation, and improvement of social services delivery especially in education, health, and ICT.
Speaking at the Skill Development dialogue workshop TPSF Executive Director Mr. Godfrey Simbeye told attendees which included Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office Policy, Parliamentary Affairs, Labor, Employment, Youth and the Disabled – Hon. Jenista Mhagama (MP), Permanent secretaries, Members of the business community, invited private sector companies/organizations and stakeholders – “Today, we are facing another challenge, where we need more skills and technical know-how from the labor market for Tanzania to realize a middle-income status and competitiveness” addressing the audience.
According to Employment and Earnings Survey: (Analytical Report 2014 by NBS), it shows that a total of 2,141,351 employees in the formal sector in Tanzania Mainland in 2014; this is an increase of 282,382 employees from 1,858,969 recorded in 2013. The majority of employees were employed in the private sector (1,432,985 private and 708,366 public). The results further show that 61.1 percent of total youth aged between 15 and 24 years were employed in the private sector in 2014. Persons with disability were 0.2 percent of total regular employees in 2014.
This has led to a great mismatch between available work force and labor market demand and quality of labor force available mainly due to lack of strategies that link the academia and the private sector. Unfortunately, the private sector is often not involved in developing the universities curricula hence many colleges and universities produce graduates are not employable because they lack what the private sector needs.
“We call for universities to establish or strengthen their links with the private sector so that they cater to the demand in the labor market” Mr. Simbeye told attendees at the workshop. Adding, “Universities should equip their students with more practical skills and competence rather than concentrating on theory alone.”
Other challenges facing the labor market low level of skills and competitiveness, slow change in mindset among people/graduates, negative attitude towards work, inadequate level of quality assurance culture in training institutions, rise in forged certificates and qualifications in higher education institutions and work places, and Lack of creativity, innovativeness, accountability and self-motivation among.