The Minister in Charge of General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister Mary Karoro Okurut has said skilling the youth is the only way the issue of unemployment among the young people can be solved.
While addressing the press at the launch of National Skills Development Fair 2019 at UMA Show Grounds Lugogo, Karoro said skilling is one of the ways developed countries have managed to tackle youth unemployment.
“This is how developed countries have done it. Germany for instance in industrialization it had to rely on the skilled labour of the youth. Therefore we as government are putting in a lot of effort and we are happy to work with other partners to see that we skill our youth.”
Karoro who happened to be the Chief Guest at the event also said that skilling must target both literate and illiterate young people.
She thanked the government for introducing UPE that has enabled many to learn how to read and write.
She also said that there is a plan in the Ministry of Education and Sports to make sure that the pupils in lower level of primary education go through vocational training.
The Assistant Commissioner in the Ministry of Education and Sports Loy Baine Muhwezi said many people have a tendency of shunning vocational training, yet it is the solution to unemployment among young people.
She also said that the Ministry is planning to introduce it in the primary and secondary curriculum.
“Many people have a mentality that vocational training is hard and that’s why people tend to shun it even when they are admitted to train for free, but we are now glad that people have woken up and realized that being skilled is not just speaking English,” she said.
She noted that government acquired $18 million loan from the World Bank and channeled a half of it to the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) which is accessed as a grant to facilitate vocational training for those who are unable to study over financial constraints.
Muhwezi also said government through the Ministry of Education is using this opportunity to show the public that public private partnership is the way to go if Uganda is to have skills that are required.
“The government now partners with private sector to skill Ugandans,” she added.
The National Development Skills Fair is under Skills Development Facility (SDF), a project of government of Uganda, funded by the World Bank.
Ruth Musoke Biyinzika, the Head of Skilling Uganda at Private Sector Foundation Uganda said the facility focuses on sectors such as agriculture, construction, manufacturing, transport and logistics, information and communication technology (ICT), tourism and hospitality.
She also said that this is the opportunity for the government to showcase to the public that it has what the employers need.
Ms. Musoke also displayed the prioritized training institutions and they include among others Uganda Technical College Lira, Bukalasa Agricultural College, Uganda Technical Institute Bushenyi and Uganda Technical College Elgon.
The vocational training institutes include Kitgum Technical, Kalongo Technical Institute, Ssese Farm, Ora, Kaberamaido Rwentanga Farm, Karera, Nyamitanga, Lake Katwe, Butaleja, Kasodo and Kaliro Technical Institutes.
The call for applications from individuals and companies to acquire grants to facilitate vocational training was also launched at the event.
The event was organized by the Ministry of Education and Sports, Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), World Bank, European Union, German Cooperation and Irish Aid.