What you need to know:
- Official government estimates indicate that 600,000-700,000 Ugandans join the labour market every year.
- About 95 per cent of the above are youth, yet hardly 10 per cent of these young people can be absorbed in the formal market due to lack of the required skills.
The Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES) in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has embarked on consulting key stakeholders on issues that should be addressed by the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Bill 2022, once enacted into law.
David Luyima, the Assistant Commissioner TVET under the MoES told this publication that consultations commenced early this week in the Western Uganda’s Bushenyi District but will be conducted in all regions of the country in six week.
“We have a draft TVET Bill and we are undertaking a process of turning it into a law. Parliament requires us to undertake stakeholders’ consultations. We are taking them through the chapters and clauses on what the law intends to do and capture feedback which will be incorporated into the Bill,” Luyima said on Thursday.
According to Luyima, the Bill aims to guide technical and vocational training institutions, provide for registration and management of crafts persons, technicians and technologists, and regulate courses to ensure TVET institutions offer programmes relevant to the current job market.
“We don’t have a regulator for TVET but we have a policy and for it to be implemented effectively, there must be a law. If you don’t have a law and the regulator, everyone will do what they want. People will offer substandard services, but nobody will come to intervene because nobody is responsible,” he pbserved.
“People have opened up so many institutions and are offering courses that do not lead into employment. They are training students from their house, garages because there are not standards to guide them,” he explained.
He expressed concern that many employers are complaining that some products of institutions are hardly meeting their specifications due to a mismatch between what they are taught and the skills required in the world of work.
According to Uganda’s first lady and education minister Janet Museveni, “effective technical skills are vital for the individual, enterprise and the economy since they lead to self-reliance at the family level, increased productivity, profits and higher incomes for the nation.”
The minister says the shortage of these skills retards capacity to solve problems, slows national transformation and instead prolongs the journey to modern living.
“Uganda’s education system has been slow in bringing about the critical technical and vocational arm of education because it takes a complete paradigm shift from the current skewed theory-based education and even the subsector delivery arrangement termed as Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) to a new TVET System that focuses on relevant skills development for true national independence, development, enhanced productivity and economic growth,” she said.
The first lady further noted that Uganda’s Vision 2040 commits to policy reforms that emphasize increased competitiveness and human capital development.
Official government estimates indicate that 600,000-700,000 Ugandans join the labour market every year and 95 per cent of these are youth, yet hardly 10 per cent of these young people can be absorbed in the formal market due to lack of the required skills.
In 2021, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) reported that youth unemployment (for persons between 18-30 years) increased from 12.7 per cent in 2012/13 to 13.0 per cent in 2019/20, despite a reduction in the overall national unemployment rate from 11.1 per cent to 10 per cent during the same period.