The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) together with Uganda’s Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and, the Education Ministry have started a scheme that aims at providing young graduates access to workspaces to gain employability skills.
The Scheme, Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme (UGVS) will support the development of labour market intermediation services including job matching, job placement, job readiness training among others.
According to Rosa Malango, the UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative the Scheme will recruit 500 graduate volunteers every year.
“So far, 120 volunteers have been recruited. Since we are coming to the end of the year, we hope to add another 380 to make our 500 graduate volunteer target,” said Malango.
The 120 successful candidates received a one-week induction training on life, workplace and career development skills and, are already placed in different public, the private sector and civil society organisations as volunteers. They are expected to be with those organisations for a period of 12 months where the UNDP will meet their moderate monthly stipend.
Malango said they have received over 9000 applications for the scheme.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development Pius Bigirimana called upon employers to embrace the scheme.
“Be men and women of courage. Do whatever you’re going to do within the law to improve productivity and employability,” Bigirimana briefed the scheme beneficiaries.
A master’s degree holder according to one of the scheme beneficiaries will earn a monthly stipend of Ush1.05M, Degree (Ush850,000) while Certificates and Diploma holders will be facilitated with Ush750,000 monthly.
Malango said the scheme is partnering with public and private enterprises in Agriculture, Tourism and Hospitality, Finance and Banking, Information Technology, Energy and Minerals, Infrastructure Development including construction, Health and Education and Social Development sectors to provide volunteer placement opportunities in their organizations in different parts of the country.
What volunteers will benefit
It is expected that the volunteers placed with host organizations will receive training on the areas relevant to their work assignments from the host organizations.
They will also be assigned with mentors who will provide advice and guide their work throughout the placement period.
“All volunteers will be regularly visited by the Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme management team to check their progress and offer support,” added Malango.
Who is eligible for the scheme
Malango said a person is eligible to apply if he/she is a Ugandan national and possesses a National identity card that shall serve as proof of citizenship.
That person must be aged 18 to 35 years, with a masters’ or bachelors’ degree or diploma or advanced certificate from Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) institute.
Anyone interested in the scheme is supposed to attach certified copies of transcripts and certificates from their tertiary institutions as proof and must have been unemployed, underemployed, or out-of-school and inactive for four years or less after completing masters or bachelors’ degree, or diploma.
BY PAUL TENTENA