By Felix Oketcho
Kampala: The Ministry of Education has been called up on to overhaul the current Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) curriculum to address skyrocketing job losses.
The call has been made by Executive Director Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), Mr.Daouglas Opio who says the current (TVET) curriculum is outdated and does not address skills competence gaps a challenge that private-sector employers face while recruiting graduate workers from universities.
Opio made remarks today in a meeting with industry players, training institutions and government officials on industry and technical vocational education and training matchmaking platform and partnership journey at Serena Hotel Kampala.
“Employers look at people’s skills and competencies than degree certificates. The world of work has changed with covid pandemic disruptions hence we must move away from Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) so that every graduate of any course has skills and competence in the technical field to fit in the current job market,” says Opio.
Opio said of the 3% graduates population in Uganda, nearly 90% of them has demand relevant skills competence to fit in the job market.
In fact, Opio says close to 150million graduates in Africa lost jobs during covid 19 pandemic lockdown and changes in the world of work.
“But despite its potential, TVET in Uganda still faces a variety of challenges including stigma, low esteem and parity of status with its academic counterpart, policy inconsistency, endemic public corruption, philosophical disorientation as well as historical, socio-economic and cultural prejudices,” Opio stressed.
Meanwhile, Loy Muhwezi Commissioner TVET in the Ministry of Education apportions the blame of policy implementation to lack of corporation by the private sector to include apprenticeship programmes to address the abnormality. She said having training programmes incorporated within premises of work would enhance skills development especially in terms of relevant skills demands.
“Our biggest challenge to TVET implementation is lack of stakeholders participation especially providing a platform for industrial training. 90% of the private sector doesn’t have comprehensive apprenticeship programmes in place for further skills development. The job market has changed that requires collaboration between the private sector employers and industry trainers to work together to train people with competent skills needed in the job market, “Muhwezi said.
Onesmus Oyesigye Executive Secretary Uganda Business Technical and Examination Board (UBTEB) called for more memorandum of understandings between training institutions and industry players on inductions and career development.
“We need to do more of the part to bridge current training gaps to move forward to narrow down skills gaps,” Onesmus said.
Patrick Byakatonda Executive Director of Directorate of Industrial Training a quality assurance body for TVET said aligning human resources to the needs of private sector demands is very crucial to address skills gaps in the job market.
Launched in 2019, TVET ensures that Uganda and enterprises acquire the skills they need to raise productivity and income.