New Vision (Kampala)

15 February 2013

Uganda: Skills Training Will Grow the Economy - Investment Authority Chairman

Specialised skills training in relation to the community needs will reduce the unemployment burden, the Uganda Investment Authority chairman, Patrick Bitature, has said.

"We need certified people to secure better paying jobs and skill training will avail these people in the community," Bitature said at the signing of a skills training agreement with River Point and Centum Learning at Protea Hotel in Kampala last week.

Research shows that there is a deficit of 15,000 tower mechanics in the telecom industry. Tourism and oil and gas are other sectors experiencing skilled labour gaps.

Bitature urged the youth to embrace vocational institutes to acquire skills for the available jobs.

He said Kenya has more skilled labour than Uganda because its policies focus on industrialisation. Bitature added that Kenyans have taken over the hotel industry because they have specialised in the services industry.

Initially, the Ugandan education system was designed to cater for white-collar jobs, which is irrelevant to the changing times.

Bitature said Ugandans need to knowledge the importance of skills to build a strong foundation for the economy.

Sanjeev Duggal, the chief executive director of Centum Learning, said the manufacturing industry can only grow when people have the necessary skills.

He said traditional education only opens up the mind, but skills convey access to jobs, thus growing the society.

He said Uganda needs 100,000 skilled people every month, adding that his company, which has experience in India and other countries across the world, can give such training.

There is no designated infrastructure from which training takes place and this makes it easy for everyone interested.

Centum Learning provides skill development solutions aimed at productivity, improvement for business and making youth more employable.

It addresses the entire talent supply chain ranging from school dropouts and students to post graduates and professionals in large corporates.

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