Tanzania: Youth Empowered Through Mining

Four years ago, a student training at Moshi Regional Vocational Training Authority designed a model of an excavator, a heavy construction equipment used in mining and construction works. The student worked closely with his tutors to bring forth that model.

And that was not the first time such design work was done by students at the learning institution. "A part from this machine, our students also innovated a car that was used by the first president Julius Kambarage Nyerere," said Sylivester Kiswaga, a Training Instructor.

He said this last week as they showcased the excavator at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (Saba Saba). He explained that through the Integrated Mining Technical Training, (IMTT) students are able to use tools such as the excavator.

It is through various training skills that graduates are able to make an outstanding performance in their jobs once they are employed. And it is for this reason that vocational education and training authority offers technical trainings in their program.

"In our college, we prepare competent artisans who can work in mining industries and other related sectors at a required standard in their profession," he said.

Kiswaga further explained that the three-year program was a course that consisted of theoretical and practical training. Students were prepared to work in mining and related industries.

Fortunate Masunga, who is also a trainer, gives his own testimony. He was trained to use heavy machine equipment that was self-innovated. Now his three-year experience at Geita Gold Mining can be exemplified by his good performance in the field.

He said the training course was not difficult and if one puts their mind knowing what they wanted to achieve in future.

Masunga who has had training in engineering drawn science, entrepreneurship, hydraulic and pneumatic encouraged youths to utilise this opportunity.

Achievement

IMTT Training Coordinator (VETA Moshi) Theresa Mosha explained that IMTT and Veta are working together to equip graduates with occupational safety skills as required by the mining and exploration sector in general.

Mosha said that IMTT has enrolled 567 students from 2009 to date and 364 graduates out of these have been able to acquire employment after graducation. The interaction between them has been able to foster positive relationship between VETA and the mines.

More youths are now employed in different mines and in companies that deal with mining. She said that in the past seven years of implementing the program, nine mining companies have joined in supporting the training through Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy (TCME) including Bulyanhuru, Buzwagi, North Mara, Geita Gold Mining, Kabanga, Sandvik, Mantra, Pan African, Atlass Copco and Shanta.

"The mode of training allows apprentices to stay in college while being on the site for four months and vise versa," she explained.

There were many training courses including Industrial electric and fitter. Electricians were responsible for inspection and maintenance of all types of electrical equipment on machinery in beneficiation plants and buildings including offices, hotels and houses.

"They are also responsible for electric transmission, which includes the lying of cable networks and connection of transformers" she added.

Others were fitting machinery fitters which included machining responsible for mechanical maintenance of machinery, including assembling and fitting of new strict components. They also manufacture and construct component for machinery using different machines.

Another one was Auto electrical which overhauls and repairs all electrical systems on a vehicle. That also included maintaining all system headlight adjustment, re-wiring of circuits, setting engine timing, and battery maintenance.

Also there was Platter Welder boiler maker which were responsible for cutting welding and fabrication steel into parts for machinery and heavy duty moving equipment (HME), heavy machines mechanics also known as diesel mechanics responsible for maintaining and repairing heavy machine with diesel engines.

Students who enrolled in these programs learnt components that produce diesel engines, fuel systems, types of gears, transmutation, and electronics hydraulic and pneumatic.

Apart from that, before joining their specialised trade, the new trainees were supposed to go for basic engineering skills including safety awareness, use of hand tools and measurement.

Technical drawing, safe lifting, metallurgy and machine element .

Theresa said VETA and IMTT Moshi invited other companies to join the programs by providing financial and material support for sustaining the training programme.

Source: The Citizen