5 January 2013

Rwanda: Renewed Hope for Job Seekers

Over 1,200 job seekers with various skills were yesterday connected to prospective employers during a job fair in Kigali organised by Job in Rwanda Association.

Youth employment and productivity is among development plans the government has in five years

Job seekers also found time to sit interviews with different organisations.

The fair, sponsored by Rwanda Development Board and the Ministry of Youth and ICT, was aimed at connecting job seekers and employers from both public and private institutions.

The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, who opened the event, said it is a good opportunity for both employees and employers to meet and get connected as there is normally a mismatch between demand and supply.

Job seekers at Global Health Corps stall during the Job day at Kigali Public Library yesterday. The New Times / T. Kisambira.

"What is important today is not that all people who are here get a job immediately but to share information and knowledge," said Nsengimana.

He commended Job in Rwanda for creating the opportunity to connect job seekers to prospective employers.

"I would recommend public and private institutions and universities to adopt such activity as job seekers are too many yet there are employers out there who need them," he added.

The unemployment rate is below 2 per cent and under employment now is at 40 per cent, according to the minister.

He noted that the most important avenues to create jobs is to equip Rwandans with vocational skills and to train people how to be job creators and be confident when they are looking for jobs.

Most of the job seekers - about 70 per cent of them university graduates - intimated that they had failed to find jobs.

"I graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor's in Finance but I have failed to find a job. I have submitted my credentials to various companies in vain. Most of the time, about 200 of us have competed for the same job," a woman who gave her name only as Chantal said. She was one of those who sat interviews at the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) yesterday.

"But there is hope since Rwandans have started solving the problem of shortage by creating jobs," said Chantal, adding that job creation remained a challenge due to limited capital.

Aloys Nzabonimana, who graduated from National University of Rwanda in Economics, said it is difficult to get a job nowadays but has not given up.

"We now have a chance to meet employers which is good for us. Normally even when you apply, you are neither selected nor pass interviews. Now is the time to network," said Nzabonimana.

Youth employment and productivity is among development plans the government has in five years.

According to the information from the department of labour and employment promotion at the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, the workforce has grown at an average of 125,000 jobs per year in the last five years.

The government has also turned focus on vocational and technical skills to help cut unemployment levels with a target of creating 200,000 new jobs a year.

Grace Nyinawumuntu, the public relations officer at Job in Rwanda said their goal is to serve as a bridge between job seekers and creators.

"Job seekers are here to get information and we are here to serve as a bridge, sharing information is a problem and graduates do not get a chance to meet employers, while the latter need productive employees," she said.

One of the employers, Julien Kavaruganda, a managing partner in Key Solutions and Partners, said they came to see people who can be more productive in various domains, including law, accounting, tax collection, clearance recovery, among others.

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