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Zanzibar launches 2nd phase of short term Apprenticeships for disadvantaged youth


The programme, funded by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), is Zanzibar’s first modular apprenticeship programme to target marginalised and out of school youth

The Government of Zanzibar launched the second phase of the Island’s first modular apprenticeship programme supported by the International Labour Organisation on 20. April. 2022.

The programme aims to train youth between 15 and 25 years who are not in employment, education or training (NEET) with the skills they need to gain employment or become self-employed. The event officially marked the inauguration of 90 of these youth as they begin their three month long theoretical training at the JKU Vocational Training Centre before graduating from their six-month-long training in September 2022.

The inauguration was officiated by guest of Honour Hon Mudrik  Ramadhan Soraga, Minister, President's Office, Labour, Economic Affairs and Investments. Mr. Soraga thanked the ILO for its support of Zanzibar’s skills development programme:

“I would like to extend my gratitude to the ILO for initiating this short term apprenticeship programme for youth not in employment, education or training. This is one of several skills development programmes the ILO is working on with the government…We are all here because we are committed towards realising the government’s determination to solving the problem of youth skills development and employment in Zanzibar.”

Mr. Soraga noted the rise in unemployment according to the latest national data:

“According to the Integrated Labour Force Survey 2021/2025, the unemployment rate has risen from 14.3 percent in 2014 to 19.6 percent in 2021…Youth Employment has risen from 21.3 percent in 2014 to 27.4 percent in 2021.”

He reaffirmed the government’s determination to support national skills development programmes by working with the ILO, workers’ and employers’ organisations as well as training institutions such as JKU Vocational Training Centre, the Vocational Training Authority of Zanzibar  (VTA) and the State University of Zanzibar Institute of Tourism (SUZA-IoT)

The apprentices will also spend three months in some of Zanzibar’s best private and government intuitions where they will receive on-the-job training to compete in the job market of become self-employed.

The second phase of the programme comes after the successful conclusion of the previous intake of 120 apprentices who graduated in 2020. More improvements have been added to the programme with the addition of one more occupation, tailoring to the previous two of; air-conditioning and refrigeration installation as well as carpentry. The addition of a more typically women cantered occupation and inclusive awareness raising through the programme’s advertisement has resulted in a 50/50 gender equal intake.

The modular apprenticeship programme is currently fully funded by the ILO, however due to its successful piloting, the government of Zanzibar has expressed interest in funding the programme’s next phase, with technical support from the ILO.

The government also plans to expand to include more occupations such as welding, decoration, mechanical, aluminium and glass work, aquaculture and livestock keeping.

The modular apprenticeship programme  is implemented by the Government of Zanzibar with technical support from the ILO Skills programme which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD). 

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