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Project set to address skills, competence challenges in job market

THE Open University of Tanzania (OUT) through Europe-Africa partnership (EPICA) project have linked students and employers to have common understanding over skills required in job market, a move which also drive development of new skills among students.

EPICA, a new strategic partnership between Europe and Africa was introduced two years ago to bring together businesses, organisations and universities in both Europe and Africa to design an innovative, scalable e-Portfolio, which will improve the quality, visibility and availability of new skills.

This joint effort is made possible by co-funding from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

During the open day meeting of the EPICA at the OUT in Dar es Salaam, Prof Deus Ngaruko, and University’s Deputy Vice Chancellor said the project enables students to understand what skills needed in the market.

“This also allows employers to meet students and identify their skills and talents while in colleges and outside the colleges,” Prof Ngaruko explained.

The EPICA also encourages student to engage in practical skills development by doing different activities still studying.

The Coordinator of Teaching and Learning Services at the OUT, Dr Lawi Yohana, said the project would help in removing mindset that Tanzanian graduates lack competence and skills needed in the job market.

DR Yohana remarked that the project is in line with the 2014 education policy which insists on competence-based curriculum at different level of education so as to produce graduates with skills that employers need.

“With this project, which nears its completion, comes to remove a mindset among the employers that graduates are not competitive in the job market because they lack competence and communication skills,” he stated.

Mustapha Mkwama, OUT student, said they have learnt new practical skills through the ePortfolio that would enable them have competence.

“Through this programme we get to be connected to other students in East Africa and exchange skills,” he said.

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