MTN Uganda is the most popular employer among university graduates, a new survey has revealed. The United Nations and Standard Chartered Bank were first and second runner up respectively in the Graduate Employer of Choice survey. The telecommunication giants emerged as the overall winner in a survey carried out in six universities - Makerere , Kyambogo, Uganda Christian University, Ndejje University, Kampala International University and Makerere University Business School.
Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques, Commerciales (AIESEC), a global youth exchange organisation conducted the survey in which 5,000 students were asked to indicate three companies or organisations that they consider the best employers in their area of study. “Every tenth respondent mentioned MTN, the United Nations or Standard Chartered Bank under their top three employers of choice,” reads part of the report released in Kampala last Friday. Of the 5,000 respondents, 92 per cent were undergraduates and 7 per cent graduate students. The rest were either pursuing doctorate or Masters degrees. The paper survey was conducted in April and May this year. Ministry of Public Service and PricewaterhouseCoopers completed the top five.
According to the survey, of the top 20 employers five are banks while three offer telecommunication services. “Although answers may be based on perception, it can be assumed that a lot of the students responded according to their interaction with the companies during the Career Fair or experiences of family or friends,” says the report . Over 150 different companies and organisations were mentioned by the respondents. AIESEC outgoing president, Mr Frank Muthusi said they recognised the best (companies ) to encourage others to improve their employees’ working conditions.
“We are giving out these awards to inspire top companies and organisations to create a favourable working environment for fresh graduates,” he said. The awards were sponsored by Standard Charted Bank, Monitor Publications Ltd, Brussels Airlines and Royal Way Media Ltd. MTN Learning and Development Manager Sheila Bwango said their policy of recruiting young employees was the ‘magic’ behind their triumph. “We have a relatively young workforce and being a market leader all people regardless of their age want to associate with us,” she said. According to Ms Bwango, MTN employs 650 permanent staff and over 1,000 graduate trainees at their customer services centres. Many of them are offered permanent jobs after training.
Standard Charted Bank Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Herbert Zaake said the bank’s belief in staff development and corporate social responsibility has widened their clientele. “What we have done speaks for itself and being the oldest bank in the country counts,” he said. “Many students have to associate with us because they have benefited from internships, exchange programmes and career fairs we regularly sponsor.” Monitor Publications Ltd Marketing Manager Brian Mukisa said their partnership with AIESEC was in line with the company’s goal of developing talent. “As a company we believe in talent development and are proud to be part of this initiative,” he said.
These awards come at a time the country is grappling with an astronomical unemployment rate. Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicate that up to 400,000 graduates join the labour market each year, but only 80,000 get employed. Unofficial records put the unemployment rate among graduates as high as 36 per cent of the labour force. Labour minister Dr Emmanuel Otaala, recently said there is nothing his ministry can do about the unemployment problem. “Creating jobs is a multi-sectoral responsibility. There is nothing my department can do, unemployment is high but I don’t create jobs,” he said recently.
Graduates’ employers of choice
3-Standard Chartered Bank
4- Ministry of Public Service
6- Uganda Revenue Authority
7- Madhvani Group
8- World Vision
9- Ernst & Young
10- Barclays Bank
11- Bank of Uganda
18- Deloitte and
20- Zain Uganda