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The aim of the project is to address the shortage of skilled labour in key industries, sustainable self-employability in the Eastern Region of Uganda, thus addressing one of the main reasons for high unemployment and low productivity. By establishing a vocational training centre in the town of Luuka District, Eastern Uganda; availability of self-sustainable employment opportunities as well as increased skilled labour-force in industries with a high potential for growth, namely: metal welding and fabrication, tailoring, bakery, hair dressing and craft making. The centre will provide tailored training for workers in both basic and advanced production techniques.

In the short run, this will make existing jobs more secure and mitigate the challenges associated with the need for new employees. In the long run, it will enable knowledge and technology transfers from abroad, increasing productivity and creating new high-value added jobs. The project relies on partnerships between the private and public sector to ensure long-term sustainability of the training centre. Moreover, the partnership will insist upon public-private dialogue to build more coherent and specific workforce development initiatives.

The mechanism behind addressing high unemployment, poor workplace matching and the resulting low productivity with a vocational training centre relies on the well-established importance of human capital for economic growth. For this reason, the here-proposed vocational training centre relies on a partnership between the public and the private sector.

Rationale of the Project

The rationale behind the establishment of the vocational Training Centre in Luuka District, Eastern Uganda is to bridge the private sector workforce needs with high quality vocational training. Furthermore, currently available financial and material assets will be used to provide vocational education/training to employed and unemployed persons, to meet the increasing demand for higher skilled labour from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the wood processing, metal and textile industries in the project target region.

The project will primarily involve the private sector in the design and delivery of skills and accordingly ensure that the trainings are placement-driven. The private sector-led approach will be the guiding governance framework for the project. Accordingly, private sector will contribute to the capacity development for skilling through offering insights on labour market needs, renovating the training centre, providing training of trainers in line with the up-to-date industrial practices and support demand-driven curriculum development. For training delivery, the private sector, as the final beneficiary of a skilled workforce, will ensure that trainees gain the necessary employability skills and life skills to tap job and career advancement opportunities, particularly for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The project will improve the managerial capacity of training initiatives, particularly through linking them with the private sector, to achieve its goals. It will increase the responsiveness of training initiatives to the labour market. The private sector will be an instrumental partner in developing both the technical and managerial capacity of training initiatives required for running market-driven programs.

In addition, the trainees will be equipped with the skills required in the available jobs and vacancies, particularly in the sectors that demonstrate high growth potential and decent career prospects. Right candidates will be trained for the right jobs in collaboration with the private sector and matching the aspirations and capabilities of youth with the skills demand of the industry. Along with the vocational and technical skills, the trainees will gain the necessary soft and life skills to enrich their learning and to improve their career prospects.

 

Goal of the Project

The goal of the project is to contribute to the creation of an enabling environment conducive to private sector growth, competitiveness, and to promote investment and employment by investing in skills and knowledge relevant to key sectors and industries of the target region. This will be achieved through mobilization and leveraging of public and private partnerships and resources to promote vocational training and upgrade labour force skills.

The project output is: Functional vocational training centre providing tailored training to reduce the labour force skills gap in target industries within the Luuka District, Eastern Uganda. The centre will be led by private companies in partnership with interested local governments, private sector membership organizations and other professional organizations. It is to assume the following roles:

  • to assist companies in upgrading of existing employees’ skills to track fast changing technology and innovation, and in applying lifelong learning philosophy;
  • to provide training to newly recruited employees to improve their skills to meet companies’ needs;
  • to provide vocational training and retraining to unemployed populations to improve or re-shape their skills according to demands of the labour market and thus increase their employability; and
  • to serve as a site for practical training and skills development of technical high school students.

 

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