Govt to employ only certified technicians, says minister


The government is to certify every business, technical and vocational trained personnel before they are offered employment in some statutory authorities and State enterprises.

The proposal being fronted by the ministry of Education and Sports in partnership with the Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC), and the Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), will ensure mandatory assessment of job seekers in the different occupations and a certificate issued to confirm their competence in the area.

Ms Janet Museveni, the Education minister, also said yesterday that it will be compulsory for companies to have certified workers before they are awarded contracts.

“The Ministry of Education is working closely with Unra, KCCA, NWSC and UMA to ensure that it becomes mandatory for all business, technical and vocational enterprises to employ only certified skilled and competent technicians, craftsmen and artisans.Having skilled workers should be a prequalification for the award of contracts to contractors,” Ms Museveni said while releasing the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) 2016 occupational examination results.

DIT is responsible for quality assurance for the Business, Technical, Vocational Education and Training (BTVET). It emphasises qualification standards and equates ratings with a high level of professionalism recognised nationally, regionally and internationally.

Ms Ethel Kyobe, the DIT director, said a total of 17,028 candidates sat last year’s vocational examinations, down from 23,368 who appeared for the same exams the previous year. For instance, under the BTVET non-formal training programmes, there were 4,641 students with agriculture registering the least number of the candidates at 263 while tourism and hospitality accounted for 1,918 of the students.

Ms Museveni appealed to communities to mobilise out-of-school and in-school children to join the technical and vocational trainings to address the high rate of youth unemployment in the country.

Currently, the Education and Sports ministry is working to harmonise the workers’ Practically Acquired Skills (PAS) with the East African regional standards to facilitate free movement of labour within the region. Government, through DIT, is also working to put in place a labour market information system to generate statistics on employment.

At least 250 students were examined in the workers PAS programme and 96 per cent of them posted 65 per cent scores in the assessment.

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