What you need to know:
- In 2010, the government, with support from the World Bank and Government of Belgium, commissioned a consultant team of national and international experts to conduct a sub-sector study and subsequently support the drafting of the strategic plan.
The Ministry of Education and Sports’ Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) Strategic Plan 2011 – 2020 was built on considerable progress in the reform of the BTVET system achieved during the last decade.
In 2010, the government, with support from the World Bank and Government of Belgium, commissioned a consultant team of national and international experts to conduct a sub-sector study and subsequently support the drafting of the strategic plan.
In 2019 the government presented the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Policy 2019 recognising that 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 effect shortage of these skills affected capacity to solve problems, slowed down the process of national transformation, and prolonged the journey to modern living delaying the achievement of the middle-income status. Uganda’s education system since colonial rule and post independent Uganda, had been slow in bringing about the critical technical and vocational arm of education.
The BTVET Policy was created to support the creation of needed employable skills and competencies relevant for the national and international labor market as opposed to just acquisition of educational certificates.
In the past, the youth were not so much interested in these skills because they weren’t well sensitized and instead preferred joining universities and other tertiary institutions where they acquired degrees and other certificates but with no skills. We are now seeing a change in attitude and a rush towards skill acquisition.
As of today there are over 35 vocational training institutes training students in plumbing, electrical installation, auto mechanics, building and construction, machining and fitting, wood work technology and painting and decoration among others. As of 2020 before the outbreak of Covid-19 the Ministry of Education and Sports together with BTVET assessed that, 70 percent of employers are satisfied with competencies of BTVET graduates. 80 percent of BTVET graduates entering the labor market found employment/self-employment there by generating sufficient income by 2020 and also there was Increase in quality of skills development.
The Presidential Skilling the Girl Child Initiative started in 2017 and has benefited over 75,000 girls trained in hands-on skills like tailoring, baking, shoe making, hairdressing to get them started on earning a living for themselves and their families. Each girl who graduates receives support of startup capital to get them started. Hands-on skills has resulted greatly in a shift to job creators which has reduced youth unemployment. There was a myth that you can only get a job with a white-collar education yet few jobs are available in our Uganda of today. Youth no longer have to sit home for a year and probably age without getting experience for office jobs. The Initiative is free and it has helped get them into self-employment whether educated or not and more of these initiatives are in plan to be created by the government.
As of now more youth are getting inspiration and belief to remain in Uganda and make money employing themselves and building Uganda. Thousands of youths of productive ages have always been focused on trying life abroad forgetting to tap into local opportunities. These projects are testament that you can be an entrepreneur in Uganda and be successful by reskilling.
The project is helping a lot to build a culture of self-sustaining mentality through hands-on skills development which was not there before. Changing patterns of work now dictate, we need practical skills for the future. If you run a business, you can develop a project like this and do your part for social contribution towards your community.
We have seen it that skilling these youth through these programmes has even promoted Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU), we are seeing many of these youths with the different skills they gain becoming job creators.
We realise that 20 percent of government procurement by value must be of local products and services, 50 percent of shelf space in supermarkets must be populated by local products and these are products some of these youths are creating through the different skills they gained leading to the Increased growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
We had a BUBU expo in 2019 before the outbreak of the covid 19 pandemic and we had over 140,000 visitors who came to Kololo grounds and some of these youths were displaying off their products that they made through the different skills they gained and they were able to get exposure. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has done a lot and is still doing a lot to ensure that the public realizes the importance of these skills for the betterment of Uganda as a country.
Kevin Seguya, '