Youth in Adjumani Host EU and Belgian Technical Cooperation Representatives
The European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund Program Advisor Petr Pribyla and Belgian Technical Cooperation Centre Skills Development Project Director Gregory Acar visited the Adjumani Vocational Centre, a project of Action Africa Help Uganda (AAH-U) on 7th and 8th November 2017. They were hosted by AAH-U Vocational Training Coordinator Charles Okot.
Petr and Gregory toured the motor vehicle, welding and metal fabrication, motorcycle, and electrical and plumbing sections of the training facility, which also host the current ongoing courses for 50 youths (41 male and 9 female). Of these 35 are refugees and 15 are Ugandan nationals.
“AAH-U has been running the vocational training programme in the mechanical workshop in Adjumani district since 2015. As at November 2017, 83 youths have successfully graduated from the vocational training center. The objective of the programme is to address the employment gap in Uganda,” said Charles Okot. Youth unemployment is a growing problem in the country, with the majority of its population below 18 years. Providing youth with the right skills and matching them to jobs should contribute to their social and economic integration. However, the Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) sector in Uganda is underfinanced, which negatively impacts the design and delivery of vocational courses. The Skilling Uganda strategic plan (2012-2021) aims to transform BTVET in order to increase the employability of youth through better quality of instruction and learning in skills development, and by making it more responsive to labor market needs.
Gregory Acar said, “the Belgian Technical Cooperation, through funding from the EU, is supporting the Uganda Ministry of Education and Sports in implementing this strategic plan through the Support to Skilling Uganda programme. We are providing technical support to the reform process and encouraging the involvement of the private sector in BTVET.” Petr and Gregory wanted to tour a center already successfully delivering vocational skills in Uganda, and the AAH-U Adjumani training center squarely fit the bill.
The Adjumani training center is complementing the Support to Skilling Uganda programme by delivering quality market-relevant skills to youth so that they aren’t only employable, but also resilient enough to cope with the ever-changing workplace demands and set up their own businesses. During the visit, the graduates were excited to demonstrate their different skills while explaining the different procedures for making, repairing, assembling and dismantling different components. They also showcased various products they were working on.