“Vocational skilling the way to go,” Minister Mugasa says at Hoima skills exhibition

Exhibiting agricultural mechanisation

Public Service State Minister, Ms Grace Mary Mugasa, has challenged degree and diploma holders that reflect no skills to consider joining vocational centres to acquire the skills.

She says this will help them to the combat the unemployment challenge among the youth in the country.

Speaking at the launch of the skills exhibition by students from institutions supported by Enabel Uganda in Hoima city, Ms Mugasa said it was unfortunate that some people still considered vocational training for failures yet it is the way to go.

According to her, the oil industry where more than 160,000 jobs are expected at peak needs people with vocational skills as majority than graduates without skills.

On the side of government, the minister said they are working to promote skilling under the National Development Programme 3 (NDP 3).

“We need to change people’s mindset. As government, we are working hard to achieve that under the country’s NDP 3. It will also help Ugandans to get jobs that require vocational skills in oil and gas industry,” she explained.

Ms Mugasa added that the opportunities of self-employment and quick job acquisition are largely in attainment of relevant skills.

The Head of Secretariat Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) Policy Implementation at the Ministry of Education and Sports, Mr Winston Abenitwe, said they are working to review the curriculum to suit the skills needed on the job market.

 “We have put forward a number of reforms that are going to enhance the acquisition of skills and competence.

Our graduates and instructors should be retooled to deliver relevantly skilled persons,” he said.

The Director St Simon Peter’s Vocational Training Centre Hoima – the exhibition host, Rev Fr Joseph Bigirwa, told the high profile government leaders present about the need for the government to support private institutions especially on the payment of tutors to improve the services.

“We sometimes lack sufficient funds to run the institution and pay tutors because we do not see our parents able to foot the bills without help. We always need a helping hand for smooth running,” he said.

The exhibition  attended by leaders and students from different institutions sponsored Enabel Uganda, a Belgian organisation include Uganda Technical College Kyema, St Simon Peter’s Vocational Training Centre, Millennium Business School and St Daniel Comboni Polytechnic Naoi.

The skills exhibited include carpentry and joinery, agricultural mechanisation equipment and tailoring products.

According to a research report produced by Trading Economics, the rate of unemployment in Uganda is expected to reach 3.10 by the end of 2022 from 2.94% in 2021.

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