ILO Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development Programme and the UNDAF (Zimbabwe) on a Joint mission

Recently, an ILO mission comprising various stakeholders went to witness the launch and the handover of equipment and toolkits for youth skills and employment creation projects in Mutare by the Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development programme.

During the same mission, a site visit was also organised for youths engaged in poultry projects in the Chitakatira area of Vumba. The overall objective of the Skills programme is “to strengthen skills development systems that improve employability, promote access to employment opportunities and increase incomes for inclusive and sustainable growth”. The Programme, which is a five (5)-year initiative consisting of phase I (2010-2011) and phase II (2012-2014), is funded by the Government of Denmark at a total cost of US$ 6.813 million with phase I being allocated approximately US$ 2.773 million and phase II approximately US$ 4.040 million.

The programme is being up-scaled to thirty-nine (39) districts in the country and delivering support to youths through two main methodologies:
  • The Training of Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE): A community-based technical and vocational skills development programme focusing on agriculture and rural development-primarily based on value chain development, skills upgrading and group enterprise community projects for the “out-of-school” youth.
  • The Upgrading and delivery training through Quality improvements in Informal Apprenticeship (QiA) in the informal economy: This strategybuilds on the widely practiced traditional apprenticeship system in developing countries (including Zimbabwe), whereby out-of-school youth attach themselves to skilled Master Craft persons (MCs) in order to learn a trade via “on-the-job” practical training and workshop experience in order to obtain technical training to enhance their employability and improve their livelihood.
The handover ceremony: The function was held at the Golden Peacock Hotel in Mutare. The handover event was attended by over 600 people and the field visit benefited from the participation of the Governor and Resident Minister for Manicaland, the Manicaland Provincial Administrator, and The Minister for Youth Development, and The Deputy Minister of
Labour and Social Services, the Representatives of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions and the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (ZUNDAF) Economy, Employment and Poverty (EEP) Thematic Group whose mandate is to support economic recovery through enhancement of employment opportunities and livelihoods, was also part of the mission. The following equipment was handed over to youths projects across the country:
  • 10 computers, 20 printers and 10 internet modems (valued at $13,000) for field officers who help with organising youths and programme monitoring at district level.
  • 6 Motor Bikes for Field Officers (valued at $11,000) for field officers to facilitate monitoring visits for field officers to project sites.
  • 300 tool kits (valued at more than US$70,000) comprising various tools for youths beneficiaries engaged in carpentry, mechanics, et al.
  • An eight (8)-tonne truck for Mutoko Youth Cooperative valued at $22,000. The youths in Mutoko are engaged in a thriving horticulture project and the truck will facilitate transportation of their produce to their markets in Harare.
  • Five (5) sectors specific Common Facility Training Centres (CFC) valued at over $150,000 established in the various provinces and managed by VTCs mainly under the Ministry of Youth Development and SME associations to facilitate technological transfer to local youth establishments and VTCs. The Bulawayo facility is already operational and was launched by the Minister of Youth in February 2013.