Posted by: Wieteke Gondrie, Senior Consultant, Sustainable Business Practices and Gerrit Ribbink, Technical Team Lead, Entrepreneurship
Last year, Enclude and its partners finalised the introduction of entrepreneurship training in Tanzanian vocational training centres, that offer the students real alternatives to put the vocational skills they have learned to work in new and productive ways – for themselves, and for their communities.
In 2006 Enclude, together with its Tanzanian partners the Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College and Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA), started the implementation of the Nuffic-funded project “EUVETA.” After 8 years of intensively working together with our Tanzanian partners, the project was successfully closed last year.
The aim of the EUVETA project or “Entrepreneurship in VETA” (in Swahili: Elimu ya Ujasiriamali VETA), was to develop and introduce a new entrepreneurship curriculum at the Morogoro Vocational Teachers Training College (MVTTC) and introduce this curriculum in the Tanzanian Vocational Training Centers (VTCs).
In the early years of the project, a two-year entrepreneurship curriculum was developed by a combined team of Tanzanian and Dutch practitioners from VETA, MVTTC, Enclude and ILO-ITC. We trained Master trainers at MVTTC and the teachers of 7 vocational training centers (VTCs) in Dar es Salaam, Kihonda, Moshi, Tanga, Dodoma, Mbeya and Iringa.
Now, we celebrate the completion of the four year effort to build upon these successes by training more master trainers and improving the curriculum by integrating feedback from teachers trained during the first years of the program, and by assessing the program from a gender perspective. This revised curriculum has now successfully been rolled out to 145 VTCs across Tanzania, and was used in the training of 14,400 students in entrepreneurship. This major expansion moves the innovations beyond VETA to a new crop of VTCs, most of which are privately owned, or run by NGOs or faith-based institutions. These VTCs operate in very remote areas, where the options for education and employment are limited.
The real difference these trainings make was shown in a 2013 tracer study including 800 VTC graduates in 6 Tanzanian zones. Compared with the results of the National Tracer Study carried out by VETA in 2010, this new study showed a reduction in the unemployment rate from 34% to 23%. The main reason for this improvement was the increase in self-employment of the interviewed VTC graduates. Of all those that were economically active throughout the country, one-third were self-employed. Even more VTC graduates in rural areas were self-employed. Thus, the integration of the entrepreneurship curriculum into the VETA curriculum has proved to be an effective strategy to reduce unemployment and stimulate self-employment among VTC graduates.
Most recently, the EUVETA curriculum has been revised and improved to include elements on using business support agencies, access to finance, HRM, customer care and sales, with a view to prepare VTC graduates even better for self-employment. We are excited to see even more significant rises in the rates of employment and self-employment among graduates!
The lasting legacy of the EUVETA project is not just in the crisp, new curriculum manuals, though. Most importantly, the legacy lives in the 50+ master trainers, 360 trained teachers, 15,000+ students, and the businesses many of them will set up.