Kiira Motors Corporation will employ about 14, 000 people when it starts locally assembling vehicles and has started training some of its staff for competence certification as they prepare to begin production in 2020.
About eight technical employees have been undergoing welding and fabrication training at Lugogo Vocational Institute for three weeks and were yesterday presented before the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) to assess their level of skills.
Cabinet, in April, approved $40m (about Shs149 billion) to support the construction of the plant on more than a 100-acre piece of land in Jinja Industrial Park, in Kagogwa Village.
Half of the land will be used as testing ground for the vehicles while 50 acres will host the plant.
Mr Allan Muhumuza, the Kiira Motors business development manager, said they have started connecting water pipelines, electricity and making access roads at the assembly plant to pave way for construction, which they target to complete in December 2019.
“We are training our staff so that when production starts, we already have all the necessary skills to boost the business. There will be 2,000 direct employment and 12,000 indirect job creation. The vehicles will be locally made and customised for the users’ needs,” Mr Muhumuza said yesterday.
He said the facility will have an annual production capacity of 5,000 vehicles at a rate he said will be competitive. But sources close to the corporation’s management said the locally assembled car would cost about $28,000 (Shs106m).
Dr Michael Okumu, the DIT deputy director assessment and certification department, urged employers to ensure their workers have been assessed on the competencies they were employed to do for effective delivery.
“The problem with Ugandans is that we want as many degrees as possible. But how much can an individual offer in the world of work? If there is a job and you ask the candidate what skills they have, you hear them saying they can speak or debate. But employers are looking, for example, if you are a driver, if you can repair a car in case there is a breakdown,” Mr Okumu said.
He said many organisations are now interested in their workers getting certified and demand for their services has since risen from 2,000 in 2008 to more than 45,000 candidates assessed annually.
Their assessment costs between Shs70,000 and Shs250,000 depending on the level of competence being examined.
The Lugogo Institute principal, Mr George Mwesigye, said for the country to improve on the unemployment levels, there is need to change individual attitude especially by those in top positions towards vocational training to attract the youth.