The program which was launched last Saturday by Deputy Director of University of Dar es Salaam Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre (UDIEC), Dr Amelia Buriyo, involves hundreds of third year students from various disciplines of the university and its constituent colleges.
Dr Buriyo dared the students to be aggressive and attend any training or counselling which involves developing their skills to get jobs in the market or employ themselves once they graduate from the university.
“This subject is not included on your curriculum but it is an important subject because there are very few jobs available and not everyone can employ themselves,” Dr Buriyo said.
She argued official data shows that of the estimated 800,000 people who enter the job market annually, only 20 percent get employed in the formal sector while thousands join the informal sector.
Addressing the students, Food Security, School and Shelter (FSSS) Association Chairperson, Dr Katherine Fulgence said the Entrepreneurship and Employability Skills Development (EESD) Programme is aimed at enhancing students’ employability through engagement in specific employability skills development activities.
Dr Fulgence said that skills gap among graduates is a serious shortcoming which has been debated over time saying it has become more critical following mass enrolment in higher learning institutions.
“Although the programme focuses on things not taught in the core curriculum, students will get an opportunity to address aspects that are equally important in the current world of work thus enhancing their competitiveness,” Dr Fulgence noted.
The programme will last for seven weeks starting March and April, 2017. Students will be able to discover their potential and demonstrate competencies related to employable and enterprising individuals.
“We are starting with 100 students for now, the plan is to increase the number but this is subject to having committed manpower who can also volunteer given the limited financial support. We appreciate Total Tanzania under the Total Foundation for their financial support.
We encourage other corporate companies to support these initiatives now that they also need competitive and highly skilled graduates” said Dr Fulgence.