Govt to improve tourism training sector

(Left to Right): Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute principal Richard Kawere, Grace Kansiime, the overall best student at the institute’s 14th graduation held on November 16, 2023 where tourism minister Col (Rtd) Tom Butime was chief guest. PHOTO/DENIS EDEMA

The Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities, Col (Rtd) Tom Butime, saysthe government has committed to undertake measures to ensure proper training of the tourism industry workforce.

According to Col (Rtd) Butime, improving the tourism sector is one of the key issues on Uganda’s development Agenda, and in pursuit of this, the government has suggested a number of measures.

“These include; capacity building for the sector value chains, local and international collaborations, development of tourism infrastructure, and increase in budgetary allocation for the sector,” Col (Rtd) Butime said during the 14th graduation at Uganda Hotel and Tourism Training Institute (UHTTI) in Jinja City.

At least 170 students, including 120 females (70 percent) and 50 males (30 percent), were awarded Diplomas and Certificates.

The Principal, Mr Richard Kawere, said the institute runs short courses and 46 students completed these courses and are to be presented for recognition.

He added that the institute also runs a one-year International Labour Organisation (ILO) apprenticeship programme, whose requirements were fulfilled by 90 students who received awards last month at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala.

Mr Kawere further revealed that a combined number of 306 students have successfully completed the various trainings at the institute this year.

Mr Kawere, however, said there are a few challenges affecting optimal performance to the expectations of the stakeholders, including limited library facilities, and limited ICT infrastructure to enable us to conduct e-learning to our students and stakeholders.

Currently, he said, all students stay in rented premises, and they would love to see the implementation of the development infrastructure master plan which has student hostels.

Other challenges, he said, include; limited welfare facilities such as sports recreational grounds to build a 360 degree round student, high training costs due to high cost of training material.

Col (Rtd) Butime, however, said the Ministry will endeavor to address the challenges that affect the delivery of the UHTTI mandate so that the ministry achieves the desired outcomes.

Ms Jane Egau Okou, the chairperson Board of Directors, said they are committed to ensuring that the institute fulfils its mandate of supplying quality labour force to the industry and are sure that the 170 trainees who were churned out have met all the criteria.

“Since its inauguration in April 2021, this is the third batch of graduands the board is passing out, with the first having been passed out in November 2021,” said Ms Okou.

Some students were recognised for their exceptional performance, including Davis Atholere, and Kauthara Habib Nakisige, who scored a Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 4.86 and 4.46 in National Diploma in Tourism Management among others.