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Economic & Sector Work :: Policy Note

Tanzania Skills for Competitiveness in the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector

ACCESS TO EDUCATION ACCESS TO PRIMARY EDUCATION ADULTS APTITUDES BASIC EDUCATION BASIC EDUCATION STATISTICS BASIC SKILLS BULLETIN CALL CLASSROOM COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT COGNITIVE SKILLS COLLEGE DEGREE COUNSELING CREATIVE THINKING CURRICULA CURRICULUM DEVELOPING COUNTRIES DISTANCE LEARNING EARLY CHILDHOOD EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT EARLY CHILDHOOD INTERVENTIONS ECONOMIC GROWTH ECONOMICS OF EDUCATION EDUCATED WORKERS EDUCATION ATTAINMENT EDUCATION ECONOMICS EDUCATION EXPANSION EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS EDUCATION LEVEL EDUCATION POLICIES EDUCATION PROVIDERS EDUCATION QUALITY EDUCATION SECTOR EDUCATION SYSTEMS EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS EDUCATIONAL INVESTMENTS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING ETHICS EXAM EXAMS FAMILY MEMBERS FOCUS GROUP DISCUSSIONS FORMAL EDUCATION FORMAL TRAINING GENERAL EDUCATION GER GOVERNMENT POLICIES GROSS ENROLLMENT GROSS ENROLLMENT RATE GROSS ENROLLMENT RATES GROSS ENROLLMENT RATIO HIGH RATES OF TEACHER ABSENTEEISM HIGHER EDUCATION HIGHER EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS HIGHER LEVELS OF EDUCATION HUMAN CAPITAL HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IMPACT OF EDUCATION INFORMED CHOICES INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION INTERNATIONAL TRENDS INTERNSHIPS INTERPERSONAL SKILLS INVESTMENT IN EDUCATION JOB OPPORTUNITIES JOB TRAINING LABOR FORCE LABOR MARKET LABOR MARKETS LABOR SUPPLY LABOUR MARKET LACK OF INFORMATION LEARNING LEARNING MATERIALS LEARNING OUTCOMES LEVEL OF EDUCATION LEVELS OF EDUCATION LIFE SKILLS LITERACY LITERACY SKILLS LOWER LEVELS OF EDUCATION MATHEMATICS MINORITY MOBILITY MOTHER NUMBER OF PEOPLE NUMERACY NUTRITION OCCUPATIONS ONLINE COURSES PAPERS PERFORMANCE INDICATORS PERSONALITY POLICY MAKERS POOR NUTRITION POST-PRIMARY EDUCATION PRIMARY DATA PRIMARY EDUCATION PRIMARY GROSS ENROLLMENT PRIMARY GROSS ENROLLMENT RATE PRIMARY LEVEL PRIMARY LEVELS PRIMARY SCHOOL PRIMARY SCHOOL LEAVERS PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS PRIMARY SCHOOLS PROBLEM SOLVING PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROVISION OF SERVICES PUBLIC EXPENDITURE PUBLIC SCHOOL PUPILS QUALITY OF EDUCATION QUALITY PRIMARY EDUCATION QUESTIONING READING RESPECT RETURNS TO EDUCATION SAFETY NET SCHOOL ATTENDANCE SCHOOL DAY SCHOOL LEVEL SCHOOLING SCHOOLS SECONDARY EDUCATION SECONDARY SCHOOL SECONDARY SCHOOL LEVEL SECONDARY SCHOOLS SELF-ESTEEM SERVICE DELIVERY SERVICE PROVIDERS SERVICE PROVISION SKILL ACQUISITION SKILL LEVEL SKILL-DEVELOPMENT SKILLED STAFF SKILLED WORKERS SKILLED WORKFORCE SKILLS ACQUISITION SKILLS DEVELOPMENT SKILLS TRAINING SMALL ENTERPRISES SOCIAL SKILLS SPONSORS STUDENT ASSESSMENTS STUDENT ENROLLMENT TEACHER TEACHER ABSENTEEISM TEACHER MOTIVATION TEACHER PAY TEACHERS TEACHING TEACHING MATERIALS TECHNICAL COLLEGES TECHNICAL EDUCATION TECHNICAL SKILLS TECHNICAL TRAINING TERTIARY EDUCATION TEST SCORES TEXTBOOKS TRAINEES TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES TRAINING PROGRAMS TRAINING SERVICES TRANSPORTATION UNEMPLOYMENT UNIVERSITY EDUCATION UNMET DEMANDS URBAN AREAS VOCATIONAL EDUCATION VOCATIONAL SCHOOL VOCATIONAL TRAINING WORKING POPULATION YOUNG PEOPLE YOUTH
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World Bank, Washington, DC
Africa | Tanzania
2014-09-15T20:16:06Z | 2014-09-15T20:16:06Z | 2013-07

We examine the question of workforce skills for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Tanzania and find a mixed picture full of potential. On the one hand, education access has expanded at all levels and a more educated cohort is now entering the labor market - signaling the availability of a more skilled workforce for SMEs. On the other hand, acute shortages of secondary and postsecondary graduates persist. Disturbingly, the quality and relevance of primary education has come into question. It is unclear whether increased access to primary education is actually translating into acquisition of crucial basic skills in the country. In light of this, it is unsurprising that education attainment no longer appears to be a reliable proxy for relevant skills, as perceived by employers. Further, SMEs seem to have very little meaningful connection with education institutions for recruitment of workers. A related but equally concerning problem relates to the culture of recruitment among SMEs in Tanzania. It is one of passive hiring, wherein firms rely on networks and referrals to identify employees instead of actively seeking them through open advertising and links with education providers. In this backdrop there is room for cautious optimism. SMEs seem increasingly to realize and emphasize the importance of workforce skills, even though, in relative terms, they are likely to be significantly more pre-occupied with infrastructure constraints. Interestingly, a large share of firms that have recently failed consider inadequate workforce skills to be a contributing factor of above average importance to firm failure.

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