A total of 220 students have attained internationally recognized certificates in vocational studies under the Youth Employment Enhancement Project (YEEP) at St Simon peters, Vocational Training Center Hoima.
Out of the 220, 20 are artisans trained in 3G coded welding certified by American Welding Society, 50 in Welding, Fabrication and Pipework certified by City and Guilds, 30 attained certificates in Electrical Engineering while 120 studied Scaffolding erection and inspection.
The training was supported by Skills for Eastern Africa Program (E4D/SOGA), Q-Sourcing, in partnership with Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and financed by development partners from the UK Department for International Development , the Germany Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Development and the Norwegian Agency for Development cooperation.
Adrian Green the Head Growth and Economy at the British High Commission in Uganda, said training the youth in Vocational skills is the way to go if Uganda is to fight social and economic challenges of unemployment.
“Equipping younger people with vocational skills can prepare them to become job creators, without vocational skills, majority of Ugandan youth may fail to penetrate into the job market the country’s oil and gas sector can offer in the Albertine region,”said Green.
He said the British government will continue working closely with various development partners and government of Uganda to ensure that the right skills are transferred to the country’s younger generation, saying this will help Uganda in fighting poverty among young people.
The GIZ Country Director, Christian Schnurre said that the natural resources sector especially oil and gas is going to be a tremendous source of jobs for Ugandans but oil companies will not compromise on the level of skills required for one to get job in the sector.
“For understandable reasons the companies in the oil and gas sector will not lower their high standards to the skills level available in Uganda, it’s up to Uganda to raise the level of its craftsmen to meet those international standards,” said Schnurre.
To ensure that youth from the oil region get the required skills, the German government through, GIZ is implementing another project in the Albertine region where its supporting five training institutes to enable them produce employable trainees some of the institutes include Hoima Buhimba Technical Institute , Kasese Youth Poly-Technic among others.
Uganda puts up enabling policies for its oil and gas
John Steven Ekomu, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner while officiating at the graduation ceremony said government has put in place many policies which can support the youth to be employed in the gas and oil sector. Some of the policies in place according to government include the 2008 National Oil and Gas policy which provides an enabling environment for the development of the sector.
“This policy promotes capacity building for both the authorities and national entrepreneurs under, this policy the government will ensure that Ugandan youth are equipped with the relevant skills and that is why government established full institute to teach oil and gas related courses” He said.
Reverand Fr. Joseph Bigirwa, the Director of St .Simon Peters Vocational Training Centre challenged the graduates to utilize the skills they have acquired to create jobs for themselves as they wait to be employed by the private sector operating in the oil and gas sector.
“The kills you have achieved through these trainings can support you to start up your own businesses. Currently there’s high demand for fabricated metallic doors and windows, venture into such businesses, this will help some of you to progress in future” he said.
The oil and gas sector will at peak create 160,000 jobs and the biggest number of them will be artisans. According to Honney Malinga of Petroleum Authority Uganda, the country is still facing a challenge of limited skilled personnel to work in the oil and gas sector but asked ladies to embrace these courses.
The YEEP Training project was implemented by GIZ in collaboration with St Simon peters, Vocational Training Center Hoima. The overall objective of the project was to increase the domestic pool of internationally certified artisans available to take advantages of the job opportunities in the oil and gas sector in the country.
BY SAMUEL NABWIISO