Skills development for Africa

In the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa skills development initiatives are transforming the lives of unemployed youth.

With the help of the Norwegian government the International Labour Organisation(ILO) has launched an initiative to boost youth employment in Tanzania and other African countries.

In the video 'How skills development is changing lives in Eastern and Southern Africa' the ILO explains why this model has been successful.


In Tanzania there are massive employment opportunities within the agriculture and hospitality sectors. However young people are unable to take advantage of these opportunities due to a lack of training.

“Very few young people in Tanzania have the skills employer's need.”

Another problem is the gap between academic training and real time work experience.

“Many existing training programmes have a weak connection to the realities of the labour market.”

The ILO project seeks to improve collaboration between training institutions and local employers.

“Under the eyes of the employers and hoteliers the apprentices practice perfectly what they have learned in theory.”

As a result apprenticeships in the local hotel and tourism industry are developing the skills that are truly needed in the marketplace.


Similarly in Malawi the ILO project helps training colleges teach modern horticulture skills.

The traditional horticultural methods practiced in Malawi are not meeting the quality standards demanded by the sector, reports ILO.

Through the support of ILO, colleges can now train workers to grow and supply produce to supermarkets and hotels.

“75% of the training happens on the farm.” This ensures that apprentices have the practical experience necessary to enter the workforce.

Worldwide trend

The idea of bringing industry and training institutions together is not exclusive to the ILO project.

Globally experts are seeing the value of partnerships within the education and training sector.

Even in South Africa there is a growing focus on the relationship between industry and TVET colleges as stakeholders work to close the gap between theory and practice.

The success of the ILO model demonstrates the importance of collaboration for ongoing economic growth.

People and institutions need to work together in order to improve the quality of life for all.