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When will the job-creation training for youth start?

By Vision Reporter

Added 12th June 2011 03:00 AM

UNEMPLOYMENT is one of the big challenges facing Uganda today. While presenting the 2011/2012 budget, Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, noted that the current job market can only absorb 20% of the youth.

UNEMPLOYMENT is one of the big challenges facing Uganda today. While presenting the 2011/2012 budget, Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, noted that the current job market can only absorb 20% of the youth.

By M. Mulondo and A. Olwoch
UNEMPLOYMENT is one of the big challenges facing Uganda today. While presenting the 2011/2012 budget, Maria Kiwanuka, the finance minister, noted that the current job market can only absorb 20% of the youth.

“Fortunately, the youth are highly adaptable and only require attitude change,technical and business management skills to fit into the existing job market to create avenues for generating their own small-scale
enterprises,” she explained.

She allocated sh44.5b to interventions aimed at creating jobs for the unemployed youth. The minister said such interventions setting a youth entrepreneurship fund. About sh25b was allocated for this, which will be handled by dfcu Bank.

“This will be used to support youth to start or expand their enterprises. The loan sizes will be between sh100,000 and sh5m for youth group investments,” Kiwanuka said.

Another sh1b has been allocated to Enterprise Uganda to carry out business skills training in collaboration with the private sector and Uganda Small Scale Industries Association. Focus will be put on technical skills through vocational training.

But the question is whether the youth have enough information on how the proposals are going to be implemented, which ministry to implement them and where to go for the skills development.

Do we have clear programmes on how the sh44.5b would be used or the categories of people to be targeted? The youth would also be interested in knowing when the training begins so that they know where to go when time comes.

According to experts, although the numbers of available jobs do not match the demand, the increasing rate of unemployment is due to the lack of experience and entrepreneurship skills.

Milton Turyasiima, the principal officer for labour in the ministry of gender, labour and social development, research and statistics indicate that lack of necessary skills is one of the major reasons, which makes it hard for the youth to get jobs.

“With limited jobs available, it is not advisable for youth to sit and wait to be employed in the formal sector. Graduates with degrees and diplomas, but lacking required skills need to acquire entrepreneurship, vocational or computer skills that empower them to become job-creators,” he advises.

Charles Ocici, the executive director of Enterprise Uganda, says Ugandans need to embrace entrepreneurship to broaden their career opportunities.

“Empowering youth with entrepreneurship skills helps educated them discover that their options are broad, both in and outside their field of training. For instance, a qualified doctor who fails to get formal employment can open up a clinic,” he adds.

Even when one gets a job, entrepreneurship training teaches an individual that a job is not the last engagement. From the job, one can make savings and then get into business, thus creating jobs for others as well.

Ocici says the government needs to emphasise attitude re-orientation or reconstruction among students after each segment of education curriculum, that is, after primary level, ordinary level, advanced level and diploma or degree qualifications.

This helps youth to appreciate that no matter their area of training, they can offer solutions to some of Uganda’s problems.

Another strategic intervention to motivate the youth is to reward those who have demonstrated an ability to save and reinvest.

The challenge is now on meeting the budget. This is because money is required to profile skills: understand skills required and where skills are lacking.

This in turn helps in building a curriculum that will produce well-rounded graduates” Gideon Badagawa, executive director of the Private Sector Foundation of Uganda (PSFU).

PSFU had mentioned that lack of funding had hindered their efforts to train the youth in different aspects of entrepreneurship, therefore, the new budget is expected to answer their call and equip them to train the youth.

American entrepreneur Victor Kiam once said, “Entrepreneurs are risk-takers, willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise. They willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

Never give up in all your efforts to fight poverty by being more creative.
Take an example of Frenchman R. G. Le Tourneau. He was a mechanic, with only primary school education.

At the age of 30, his workshop collapsed. He kept struggling, but unfortunately became bankrupt at 44.
He, however, did not give up. In those days people were using mules and colts to transport sand to construction sites, but devised a better way of doing it.

He developed a digger that could carry 200 tonnes of sand, which combines two huge mobile diesel engines and supplies electricity to a small town. His attitude of never giving up and striving for the better paid off.

The innovation turned him into one of the richest Frenchmen ever.
The President has repeatedly said that this obligation should also be carried out by religious leaders, cultural leaders, community leaders, and parents to encourage their people to create their own jobs.

Like the President, an American writer William Graham once said, “A good father believes that he does wisely to encourage enterprise, productive skill, prudent self-denial and judicious expenditure on the part of his son.”

Despite the abundant natural resources and opportunities that exist, Enterprise Uganda discovered that most people are still poor because of their negative attitude towards hard work and self-employment as career options.

Enterprise Uganda with support from the Government launched campaign in 2007 to impart entrepreneurship and business skills to youth to enable them start their own businesses instead of them having ‘chase’ after the few jobs in the public sector.

The institution also empowers adults or employed professionals not satisfied with their current incomes and willing to explore other alternative income-generating opportunities.

Ambitious and motivated Ugandans willing to venture into private enterprise and walk the road of successful business people are also empowered by the organisation.
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When will the job-creation training for youth start?

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