Zanzibar one step closer to launching Apprenticeship Policy

The need for a comprehensive apprenticeship policy comes after the successful piloting of the apprenticeship programme in hospitality implemented in Zanzibar since 2017

The Zanzibar Apprenticeship Steering Committee ­convened on 27 February 2020 to review and validate the first Zanzibar Apprenticeship Development Policy (ZADP) at the Ministry for Labour, Empowerment, Women and Children (MLEEYWC). 

Attending were committee members from the Ministry of Labour, the Zanzibar Employers Association (ZANEMA), Zanzibar Association of Tourism Investors (ZATI), Zanzibar Trade Union Congress (ZATUC), The State University of Zanzibar (Institute of Tourism). The purpose of the meeting was to allow all steering committee members to give their constructive feedback on the policy draft to ensure that the interests of employers, workers and government are reflected in the policy.

The need for a comprehensive apprenticeship policy comes after the success of a pilot apprenticeship programme in hospitality implemented in Zanzibar since 2017. The pilot programme provided an opportunity for Zanzibar partners to learn what it takes to design and implement a quality apprenticeship programme. One big lesson learnt is the need to have an apprenticeship policy framework that will stimulate expansion, coordination and broader participation of more stakeholders. Furthermore, the policy will address various issues raised by apprentices and social partners during the piloting of the programme. Some of these issues are; health insurance for apprentices, incentives for employers who train apprentices and the need for a uniform Occupational Safety and Health laws (OSH) for all apprenticeship programmes. Key to ZATI is the issue of incentivizing the hospitality sector to join the Apprenticeship programme through the deployment of the Skills Development Levy (SDL) to compensate hotels who take on Apprentices.

The Policy draft states that:  “Considering the fact that Apprenticeship programmes develop skills, to explore and research possibilities for application of funds from Skills Development Levy (SDL) to directly support Apprenticeship undertakings by partners.”

ILO Director for East Africa, Wellington Chibebe opened the meeting by thanking the ministry and tripartite partners for their collaboration, commitment and tireless efforts to ensure that the pilot apprenticeship programme was a success. He pointed out that the committee’s guidance reflects the best practice model on how and why social dialogue on skills development is useful. He also emphasized the pivotal role of the programme in relation to ILO’s resolution to curb youth unemployment around the globe:

You may recall that during the International Labour Conference in 2012, the ILO adopted a resolution entitled The youth employment crisis: a call to action. The resolution reiterated the importance of linking education, training and the world of work through enhanced technical vocational education and training (TVET), including apprenticeships, other work-experience schemes and work-based learning.”

Director of Employment MLEEYWC, Mr Ali Suleiman Ameir took the opportunity to express his optimism about apprenticeships programmes as viable skills training and employment pathways for Zanzibar’s rapidly expanding youth population.