VETA and German partner for Mechanics for Agricultural and Construction Machinery Technology.
Last Update on:2017-08-18 12:00:00

The Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the West German Chamber of Crafts and Skilled Trades Council (WHKT) for implementing a project worth 900,000 Euro, focusing on development of technology in agriculture and construction through a dual apprenticeship training model.

The MoU was signed on Thursday, August 17, 2017 by Moshi Kabengwe, Director of Administration and Human Resources Management representing the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Leonard Akwilapo on one hand and the Chief Executive Officer of WHKT, Mr. Reiner Nolte on the other hand.

The signing was witnessed by the Germany Ambassador to Tanzania, Dr. Detlef Waechter, Chairman of the VET Board, Mr. Peter Maduki, Ag Director General for VETA, Dr. Bwire Ndazi and other officials from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and delegates from the German Embassy.

The MoU signed spells out that implementation of the project shall be effective from the date of signing until 31st day of March, 2020 with provision for extension upon completion depending on lessons learnt and the mutual agreement between the project partners.

“The qualification of mechanics and farmers shall be improved through the VETA-introduced dual instructional course: Mechanic for Agro- and Construction Machinery Technology and through practice-orientated training modules in post-harvest technology and mechanics for farmers at selected locations in Tanzania,” part of the MoU states.

Implementation of the current project hires experience from the partnership between VETA and Hamburg Chamber of Skilled Crafts (HWK Hamburg) in dual apprenticeship training in the fields of Automotive, Electrical Installation and Hospitality, which started way back in 2011. The Dual Apprenticeship system is a block release training system whereby apprentices (trainees) spend different weeks of the year alternating between a training centre and their workplaces.

Implementation of the project is expected to achieve three main results namely, introduction of pilot dual apprenticeship vocational training course in Mechanic for Agricultural and Construction Machinery Technology; short courses/modules for post-harvest technology for small farms and mechanics for farmers in selected vocational training centres; and the dual system anchored with VETA in selected vocational fields, and contributes to vocational training being more strongly orientated to the needs of the economy.

During the signing, Germany Ambassador to Tanzania Dr. Detlef Waechter expressed happiness for the collaboration between VETA and German in the project that expects to support Tanzanians, especially youth in providing them with skills for improving productivity in agriculture. He said German has a strong experience in the dual apprenticeship mode of training and that the collaboration will help Tanzania to borrow a leaf from German.

On his part, Mr Kabengwe who represented the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology expressed appreciation for the support and collaboration from German and said that the project will enhance employability of vocational graduates as they will learn modern technology in farming and machinery operation.

Ag Director General for VETA, Dr. Bwire Ndazi expressed hopes for the project impact in reducing post-harvest loss of agricultural produce.

Tanzania is one of the most dynamic markets in sub-Saharan Africa, with an annual growth of 6 to 7 percent. It is one of the least-industrialized countries in the world. The official unemployment numbers are given as approximately 13%. The informal sector, or shadow economy, plays an important role, employing more than 40% of the workforce.

Besides tourism, construction and transport sectors, Agriculture is one of the important economic sectors in Tanzania. It generates about 30% of its gross domestic product and employs around 70% of the population, especially women.

Chances for agricultural development are seen in a greater diversification of agricultural production. This could decrease the dependence of the economy on individual commodities and their global market prices.

The further processing of agricultural commodities may create new jobs if the parameters for small and mid-sized companies improve and the level of mechanization in agriculture increases. Currently, only about 12% of farmers use tractors. The technology is often obsolete, and many machines cannot be repaired due to lack of qualified mechanics. The Tanzanian Government mission is to achieve a more efficient use of farm machinery and machines for food processing. Adapted technologies, quality standards, better after-sales services and training programmes on the use of farm machinery should contribute to this.

The Dual Apprenticeship system is a block release training system whereby apprentices (trainees) spend different weeks of the year alternating between a training centre (VETA) and their workplaces. It is designed to help people, without previous training, to enter the job market as apprentices in a craft of their choice by signing Apprenticeship Contract with respective industries.

Dual Apprenticeship system of training was launched in February 2011 as a pilot project involving Electrical, Automotive and Hospitality occupations. Apprentices in the electrical and automotive occupations were trained at VETA Dar es Salaam Regional Vocational Training and Service Centre while those of the hospitality occupation are trained in modernized facilities at VETA Moshi Regional Vocational Training and Service Centre.

Throughout the training process, employers provide a working and learning environment in which the apprentices can practice and consolidate their skills acquired during their training in the training centres. Employers also assign supervisors/mentors to monitor the training in the company, liaise with the training centres, and rotate apprentices through the different departments in the company to enable them to practice and further their skills in all areas of the trade.

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