By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Youth lawmakers in the Commonwealth and other leaders have advocated for change in education systems to allow the provision of practical skills to youth as a way of solving unemployment problem and enabling them fit into the scaring job market.
This was revealed during a roundtable discussion on strategies to deal with youth unemployment held as part of the ongoing Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) at Speke Resort, Munyonyo.
The Deputy Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament Jacob Oulanyah advocated for policies that favour youth access to investment in national sectors like agriculture.
Oulanyah told the youth that Commonwealth member states had a task of reducing the number of youth who were unemployed, underemployed and unemployable so that they can all acquire gainful employment.
“All these groups that have made life difficult for us have a stockpile of vulnerable, young, educated people from whom they can recruit. For as long as we do not focus on the youth we have spent time training and are unable to give jobs, we are in trouble,” Oulanyah said.
The youth also suggested that governments ought to protect intellectual properties in order to give youths the opportunity to invest in the arts industry as well as change their mindset to move from white-collar jobs to work in the informal sector.
They also appealed for fiscal policies like reducing taxes to boost demand, a lower minimum wage to reduce real wage unemployment and flexible labour markets to make it easier to hire workers.
Western Youth MP Mwine Mpaka said that the current education systems had failed to equip youth with knowledge and cultural values to deal with ‘after-school’ life which in turn was creating structural unemployment.
“Uganda has good universities and many countries are investing a lot of good education but there is a skills mismatch. We need a guiding policy in our education system for educational reformation,” Mwine said.
He added that education systems were supposed to suit National Development Plans that have tended to industrialism, and alluded to Uganda’s Graduate Scheme Bill that seeks to promote hands-on skills for young people.