Uganda’s population with over 78% below 30 years (UBOS 2020) is largely under/unemployed due to inappropriate skills (NPA-Uganda Vision 2040). Yet the Skilling Uganda strategy (2011-2020) recognises the need to create employable skills and competencies relevant in the labour market instead of educational certificates. Enabel’s 2022 Labour Market Scan (LMS) conducted in West Nile and Kiryandongo takes note of the existing situation of people grappling for survival but with limited options.
Youth in Uganda experience multifaceted problems including acute poverty and vulnerability due to missed education opportunities. The increasing population of the younger persons occurring alongside the lack of post-secondary institutions, is one of the factors that continue perpetuating the low skills levels and job opportunities in Adjumani and Kiryandongo. Tertiary institutions are demanded to build the capabilities of young people and give them confidence to start business enterprises, a multiplier for job creation (Enabel 2022 Labour Market Scan). Further, employers often complain about a mismatch and shortages of skills which constrain production.
WIU with funding Enabel is implementing the Skills Training for Employment Promotion (STEP) Project in Adjumani and Kiryandongo districts. The overall objective of the project is to ensure that unemployed youth, women and girls in Adjumani and Kiryandongo are equipped with relevant competence based labour market skills to access gainful employment or start their own enterprises and sustain their livelihoods.
The STEP project will address the labour market needs through strengthening accessibility, quality, relevance and equity of vocational skills training for marginalised youth and young women in the two districts, and support beneficiaries to convert vocational skills attained into meaningful, (self)employment through enterprise development and formal employment.
The project will specifically:
- Increase opportunities for skills acquisition among 360 vulnerable Ugandan and refugee youths in Adjumani and Kiryandongo refugee settlements by 2024.
- Provide market relevant vocational skills training for 360 selected refugees and host youth in the project area by 2024.
- Enhance practical vocational skills for the trained 360 refugee and host community youth through work-based learning thereby enabling them to get employed or create their own enterprises by 2024.