After searching for years he gave up and, to make ends meet, decided to join his father as a casual labourer’s assistant. Said’s father is a freelance construction worker who moves from one construction site to another looking for work. Said thought this was the only option left for him.
“Many young people like myself coming from poor families get frustrated in life because of lack of opportunities to get relevant skills and find a good job,” he explained.
From informal worker to qualified employee
However, his life changed for the better when he heard about an ILO-supported apprenticeship programme focusing on hotel operations. He applied, passed the interview, and ended up being trained at the five-star Ramada Resort hotel in Dar es Salaam.
I come from a modest background and I didn’t know that working in a hotel required so many professional skills. But now after getting the opportunity to train through this programme as an apprentice, my hopes are very high. I receive very good guidance and support from my supervisors. I just need to put in hard work and more effort to get a better chance to be hired here when I graduate in October,” he said.
Said majored in food production. He is among 169 young women and men who have joined the programme.
“The creation of the Certified Apprenticeship Programme in hotel operations is the result of joint efforts by employers, workers and the government to address skills mismatches, increase skills relevance and enhance the employability of young people in Tanzania,” said Wellington Chibebe, from the ILO Office in Dar es Salaam.
The 24-month training is jointly implemented by the National College of Tourism and hotel association members in Tanzania, with technical and financial support from the ILO. Trainees spend 60 per cent of their time working in the hotels.
Closing the skills gap
Thanks to the programme, Said can look forward to a better future.
“I have regained lost hope. Because of the apprenticeship training, I can see a new person in me,” he said.
“In Tanzania, apprenticeship training has been identified as one of the best ways to fill the skills gap, as it combines practical ‘on the job’ training, together with classroom studies. It enables a trainee to gain experience on specific job skills through working alongside experienced staff,” added Chibede.
“The apprenticeship training has shown a positive impact for reducing the school-to-work transition period. Now, there is a need to further promote this type of training so that employers, training institutions and workers fully utilize the skills of the national labour force,” he concluded.