Educationists and leaders from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania met, between 25th and 27th November 2019 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for a technical advisory workshop discuss strategies to address shortage of technical skills in ICT, transport, energy, manufacturing, and agro-processing.
The workshop was organized by the East African Skills for Transformation and Regional Integration Project (EASTRIP) with support from the World Bank.
EASTRIP is an initiative of African Governments and the World Bank to increase access & improve the quality of TVET programs in 16 selected regional TVET flagship institutes in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
The workshop was officially opened by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, the United Republic of Tanzania, Dr. Leornard Akwalipo said: “TVET is the engine of economic growth and the key to development in any society. And on a Global scale, Polytechnics have been strategically tasked with a special responsibility of producing human capital with the relevant skills that are required in the driving of both, the industrial and commercial sectors.”
Dr. Akwalipo observed that TVET has the potential to close existing skills gaps in our economies. He reiterate the ability of EASTRIP to address the challenges in TVET education among participating countries. “The project will contribute in shaping the landscape of TVET in the region and also make a positive impact on the current mismatch of demand and supply of skilled workforce,” Dr. Akwalipo said.
He emphasized the need to promote TVET to the level of making it a first choice to would be students and do away with notions that it is last resort after failing to obtain other training programmes. He urged participants to “come up with strategies that will ensure that there are clear mechanisms for recognition of TVET qualifications within appropriate regulatory frameworks at national levels and mutual recognition mechanisms at regional level”.
The World Bank EASTRIP Team Leader, Ms. Xiaoyan Liang, observed that while African governments have embraced industrialization as part of the strategy for sustainable economic development and job creation, they are still faced with skills shortage is particularly acute in the fields of ICT, transport, energy, manufacturing, and agriculture processing.
She said, “EASTRIP is designed to address challenges in skills shortage and mismatch, by providing technical, financial and industry partnership to increase the access and improve the relevance and quality of training programs in the 16 selected regional TVET flagship institutes and to facilitate regional integration by providing a regional platform to promote exchanges of policies and practices, students and faculty mobility and harmonization of standards and qualifications. “
important platform through which to promote skills development, inclusive growth, and create a community of practice for TVET. We pledge our continuous support, call for all industrial and other partners to collaborate, and look forward to expanding the community and to productive partnership with all of you.