President Museveni has launched a bursary scheme for over 600 learners in the oil rich Albertine region where beneficiaries will study petroleum-related courses.
The training is supported by the Government of Uganda and the World Bank under the Albertine sustainable Development project.
The students will attain free training in accredited public and private institutions in carpentry, scaffolding, painting, plumbing, engineering, catering, mechanical and electrical courses.
Speaking during the launch of the scheme on Thursday at Hoima Boma ground, Mr Museveni said the training, certification and accreditation which the student will obtain will give them an opportunity to work in the oil industry anywhere in the world.
"This is a huge opportunity because the skills which our children will get will benefit them even after the oil is exhausted. I would therefore, wish to guide our children not to miss this chance," Museveni said.
He asked parents, leaders and the community members to mobilise the children in the region to seize the training opportunities that have been provided under the bursary scheme.
He asked the people to prioritise agriculture and utilize the several infrastructure projects in Bunyoro region to uplift themselves from poverty.
Earlier, the Hoima mayor Grace Mugasa had petitioned the President to operationalsie a Government-funded Bunyoro University. The University has been in several NRM manifestoes but it has not been operationalized.
The President said the Bunyoro University will start from a nucleus which at Uganda Petroleum institute Kigumba and open faculties in different areas.
"When the University begins, we shall agree which faculty to put here," Mr Museveni said.
The First Lady and Education Minister, Ms Janet Museveni said the oil and gas discovery in the Albertine region has raised expectations from the public in terms of the likely benefits in form of jobs created, improved household incomes and the quality of life.
"In line with the government's desire to see people of the Albertine region take full advantage of natural resources within this area, the Ministry of Education and sports was charged with a responsibility of preparing the workforce that has appropriate and requisite skills to benefit from the immense opportunities that will accrue from the exploitation of oil and gas and other natural resources in the region," Ms Museveni said.
She said the bursary scheme is a very important strategy that government has put in place through the Albertine region sustainable development project to skill Ugandans.
"Government is through my ministry, accordingly upgrading technical colleges to deliver demand driven programmes in the oil and gas sector. The Workforce Skills Development Strategy and Plan (WSDSP) which will be launched today has already identified these programmes," she said.
Under the bursary scheme, the beneficiaries should be Ugandan citizens living in the districts of Nebbi, Nwoya, Buliisa, Masindi, Kiryandongo, Hoima, Kibaale, Bunyangabu, Kakumiro, Kagadi, Kyenjojo, Kabarole and Ntoroko for the past five years.
The trainees are expected to have a minimum of an O-Level certificate or craft 1 or craft 2 technical certificate, or Uganda Vocational qualification framework level 1 or level 2 certificates.
The beneficiaries are not expected to have any other bursary from other sources.