The production of skills for the agricultural sector in Tanzania: the alignment of technical, vocational education and training with the demand for workforce skills and knowledge for rice production

Takei, Keiko (2016) The production of skills for the agricultural sector in Tanzania: the alignment of technical, vocational education and training with the demand for workforce skills and knowledge for rice production. Doctoral thesis (EdD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

The general objective of this study is to identify skills required by employers relevant to the agricultural sector especially in cash crop rice farming and to explore how to increase the contribution of new entrants to the labour market leading to increased production, socio-economic development and the reduction of income-poverty in Tanzania. Productivity gains in the agriculture sector have been modest and have had a limited effect on economic growth in Tanzania. Although the country has considerable agricultural potential, making the most of this depends on the availability of a labour force that has the skills to support a shift to greater productivity. This study profiles, analyses and examines the reality of skills provision and the emerging opportunities to find out how skills development and employability should be improved.

The research questions focus on (i) identifying the existing skills gaps between employers’ needs and employees’ capabilities; (ii) identifying the skills which TVET programs impart to enhance performance in the agriculture subsector; and (iii) identifying the skills required by employers and analysing the employability of TVET graduates entering work in the agricultural sector, especially for paddy production. The study concludes by outlining policy implications for improving TVET programs for workforce development.

Among the key research findings was the identification of the high degree of irrelevance of most TVET courses for the targeted labour market as overall 89 % of employers claim that the skills possessed by graduates were not applicable to their intended jobs. Moreover, there is a gap in perception between employers and employees about the value of their training.

Serious concerns need to be addressed. This can be done by creating an effective system of knowledge dissemination and training building on the current cascade training system involving both the TVET institutions and the visitation of extension workers in the field responsible for enhancing the transfer of modern farming practices. Findings also indicate that very few TVET graduates who enter the agriculture sector have actually studied agriculture, and only seven percent out of the entire TVET graduating cohort have studied the agricultural track.

These research findings, drawn largely from a case study analysis as well as analysis of secondary sources, were formed during my professional experience working in the TVET sub-sector in Tanzania. The findings lead to the conclusion that the nature and structure of the curriculum as well as the teaching methodology mean the skills of the TVET graduates are inadequate to meet the demand from the labour market, especially in the paddy production sector. In addition, the study findings lead to a number of critical policy options to reduce skills gaps by refining the curriculum and pedagogy to ensure it is more demand driven and by ensuring that a mechanism is created linking supply and demand.

Critical policy options include the need for a clearer and more systemic occupational analysis of the skills needed in paddy production -- such as the analysis provided in the Developing A Curriculum (DACUM) approach in order to ensure that the TVET curriculum is in alignment with the demanded occupational skills. To enhance the scientific and technological foundation of TVET, a strong focus will be required on high-order literacy and numeracy skills. The study also suggests that to establish a “knock-on effect”, youth who obtain skills from TVET institutions also need to be provided with appropriate leadership training during their TVET programs in preparation for disseminating knowledge and skills to other farmers in the field and leading change in agricultural practice. The training system needs to be more closely linked with employers and work places where knowledge and skill can be utilised.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labour > HD4801 Labour. Work. Working class > HD5701 Labour market. Labour supply. Labour demand Including unemployment, manpower policy, occupational training, employment agencies
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 18 May 2016 10:10
Last Modified: 18 May 2016 10:10
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/60644

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