Building a future with decent work for youth

More News


6969 Sustainable jobs for youth created

6969 jobs for youth created, while 2800 craft persons realise quality improvements

2013 has been a big year for the Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development Programme. It was the third year of implementation for the five year partnership between the ILO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark. The programme is supporting the social partners in Zimbabwe - government, trade unions, employers and civil society organizations - to address the challenges of youth employment and rural development. As we look back over the last year, there is very encouraging news about providing skills for employment and the sustainability of youth led enterprises.  Generally the bulk of the youth who have benefited from the programme have been able to gain employment or start a business, some of the young people have been growing their businesses and have managed to create employment for others.

The year was significant in that most youth initiated projects have gone through several life cycles and have proved to be sustainable. The programme was upscaled, it was in less than ten districts in 2012 but reached 38 districts in 2013. Programme interventions are largely demand driven and are determined by local economic realities. This made it necessary to grow from the 8 economic activities and trades to the current 20. Skills and support is being offered across all these economic activities at trades. The programme is particularly proud of its solar and renewable energy project which balances the need for livelihoods and being environmentally sustainable.

Through the Training for Rural Economic Empowerment (TREE) and Quality Improvements in Informal Apprenticeships (QIA) methodologies the programme is strengthening skills development systems. The methodologies improve employability, promote access to employment opportunities and increase incomes for inclusive and sustainable growth.

4500 youth have benefited from the TREE, local economic development methodology, of these 2,804 joined the programme in 2013. All young people have benefited from market driven community-based technical and vocational skills development in rural areas. This has expanded training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged individuals. The training equipped the youth on starting up small enterprises for income generation. It has also allowed those who had been operating some business to see a jump in profits, after training some have recorded up to ten fold increases in profits. The programme also procured equipment for sectors specific Common Facility Training Centres (CFC) across various provinces. The CFC's are managed by public Vocational Training Centres'.

The QIA component has to date benefited in excess of 4800 individuals directly. Master Craftsperson, 2,280 across the country, saw quality improvements to their workplace and benefitted from access to new skills and technologies. Trade associations were also targeted to make them more effective. These interventions improved the productivity of Master Craftpersons and in turn their capacity to engage young people as apprentices.   To date 2,469 apprentices have completed technical theory component of the QIA in various trades and got apprenticeship contracts to enable them to receive the practical skills from Master Craftsperson in the informal economy. In addition to benefitting from the Common Facility Training Centres, the youth also received tool kits to allow them to engage in their selected trade.

Stakeholder capacity building is a key element of the programme exit and sustainability strategy. Numerous capacity building interventions were made in 2013 to ensure that stakeholders at the national level are familiarized with implemented components and have the capacity to expand rural and informal apprenticeship training. National stakeholders are increasingly playing an integral part in the planning and implementation of the programme.  The programme also recognises some of the challenges limiting the role partners play, equipment was handed over to key partners at national and district level. ICT equipment as well as motor bikes where provided to facilitate programme management and monitoring.

In addition the programme played a role in skills development policy dialogue. In June 2013 the ILO and other development partners assisted the Government of Zimbabwe in holding a policy forum, "National Conference on Youth Skills for Employment, Entrepreneurship and Industry Growth". A key outcome of the meeting was the need to realign the skills development system to recognise the role of the informal economy. The need to revise curricula, strengthen technical and vocational education and training by recognising prior learning and skills acquired informally. The importance of reforming skills finance modalities and developing a national qualifications framework were underscored.

This progress has been made possible by continuing to collaborate with the Government of Zimbabwe and its social partners. The programme team remains grateful for this support and would like to thank all those who contributed to effect lasting change in the communities we work. We look forward to another successful year in 2014.