Background Integrated and collaborative efforts between stakeholders, including Government, private sector, labour unions, academic and research institutions, and other national and international NGOs in Mozambique, are working to improve occupational safety and health (OSH) conditions. Although the International Organisation of Work has adopted international OSH development recommendations and competencies to improve specific OSH training and education, this practice has yet to be implemented.
Objectives This study examined the Mozambican national education and training system for OSH workforce development (both higher education students and continuing education of workers).
Methods A literature review included government documents and reports about technical and professional education. Primary data was collected using surveys and interviews of the principal leaders in OSH (General Inspector of Work, Departments of Education and higher education institutions).
Results In 2009, none of the 14 functioning public higher education institutions had a complete degree course in OSH. Currently, the OSH capacity has greatly improved, particularly due to the increased international mega-investments by multinationals in the mining, natural gas and oil industries. The major tertiary institutions, of which Eduardo Mondlane University is one, currently have academic degrees with focus either in occupational or environmental safety. There is also a proliferation of short-term training courses in OSH, given in collaboration with international organisations such as the South African National Occupational Safety Association (NOSA) and Bureau Veritas, among others. Some technical school courses cover basic levels of OSH; these are short duration offerings to help international consultants in these disciplines.
Discussion As the exact formation, content and effectiveness of OSH workforce development is not known, a comprehensive evaluation needs to be conducted urgently, as a starting point for effective OSH workforce development. This evaluation will permit the identification of strategies and interventions that can be adopted in Mozambique, including OSH models used in other countries like South Africa, Europe, Brazil and the USA.
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