DIT to assess and certify govt skilling programmes

A trainer in carpentry receives his certificate at the ceremony

A trainer in carpentry receives his certificate at the ceremony

Dr Ruth Biyinzika Musoke has said all persons undertaking the presidential skilling programmes must undergo professional assessment and certification before they are churned out, the chairperson of the Industrial Training Council, writes YUDAYA NANGOZI.

Biyinzika said the certificates that will be issued to trainees by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) are recognized in Africa and can be used to upgrade their skills to other higher levels of education.

“We had long cried for this but we are glad that the state house has been able to enhance their budget to support the quality skilling initiative by DIT. The president has been skilling young people but you can’t just train without assessing and ensuring that learners get certified. We must measure their competencies now...If someone has done tailoring, we must practically look at what they can do and assess them accordingly,” Biyinzika said.

She was officiating at the ceremony of awarding certificates of competence to 96 industrial trainers held at the DIT offices in Kampala last week. The trainees completed a one-month induction course on the use of Assessment and Training Packages (ATPs) in the occupations of a tailor, hairdresser, welder, and carpenter and joiner.

The trainers will facilitate hands-on training in the newly-commissioned 12 zonal industrial hubs established across the country. The hubs are an initiative set up by President Museveni in a bid to reduce youth unemployment, according to Biyinzika.

“The people being passed out have been actively engaged in some of these fields but needed further panel beating on the assessment packages. We have trained them well and they can train other young people in the various hubs,” she said while cautioning the trainers on ethics and integrity while on the job.

At least 31 industrial hubs are set to be constructed at Shs 5bn each in various parts of the country targeting disadvantaged youths. This financial year, some 12 hubs – each to admit 220 trainees – will admit trainees at no cost in the districts of Kayunga, Jinja, Kween, Soroti, Adjumani, Zombo, Masindi, Mbarara, and Kasese, among others.

According to the director of Industrial Hubs and Presidential Projects, Eng. Raymond Kamugisha, training of youths under hubs is the first of its kind in the country.

“We have never had a programme in this country that addresses the actual needs and shows linkages to other programmes. We have many challenges of unemployment in this country but if you looked back, it is simply because our education system does not train people to meet societal needs. People are trying as much as possible to struggle but poverty is still holding onto us. These trainers are going to be game changers in their regions,” Kamugisha said.

He emphasized that Ugandans need the right vocational skills to compete favourably in the job market.

“I recently met people from the Uganda Petroleum Authority and they told me that Uganda does not have certified welders for the oil sector. With the brilliance of Ugandans, if it is not manipulation, how can you fail to get welders?” he asked.

At the hubs where training is expected to be residential and targets mainly illiterate people, the mode of instruction will be in local languages to ease the acquisition of skills.

Meanwhile, in some districts such as Masaka and Kibuku, training will be delayed after contractors failed to complete the construction works on time while all the remaining 19 hubs will be ready by January 2023.


© 2016 Observer Media Ltd