(Xinhua) -- Ashraf Kimbugwe, a student at Uganda
Petroleum Institute is eager to finish his studies and hopes to
work in the country’s oil and gas sector.
Kimbugwe is among the thousands of
Ugandan youths that the government, in partnership with the
private sector, is training to get ready for the job market that
requires a skilled labor force.
As the World Youth Skills Day falls on
Sunday, Uganda says it is prioritizing the training of youths
who constitute over 75 percent of the country’s population.
Matia Kasaija, minister of finance,
planning and economic development, said recently that the
government has built and equipped several vocational and
Kasaija said that over the next year,
more than six technical colleges in the country will churn out
technicians who are “internationally certified”. This means that
they can work in any part of the world.
He said over the past year, 14,620
youths who do not have formal training have been equipped with
skills in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, tourism and
In January this year, the government
launched the construction of the China-aided Industrial Skills
Training and Production Center.
The government views the 30 million-U.S.
dollar center as a critical pillar in addressing the country’s
lack of skilled manpower and technology it requires to fast
track their industrialization process.
The government says its greatest need
for skilled personnel will be when the country starts the
commercial production of oil. Production of the country’s over
1.6 billion barrels of oil is expected to start by 2023,
according to government projections.
According to the ministry of energy
and mineral resources, over 161,000 jobs would be created in the
sector as the construction of the refinery and crude oil
Various private institutions have
opened up their gates to train the youths who want to work in
the sector. Sunmaker Oil and Gas Training Institute, set up by a
Chinese company, has planned to train over 4,000 Ugandan youths
Speaking at the institute on July 12,
Janet Museveni, minister of education and sports said the
government recognizes the critical role played by the private
sector to enhance human resource development.
“We are pleased to have friends who
can partner with us to help us achieve the middle-income
status,” Janet Museveni said.
“Those with competencies in oil and
gas are still limited despite having several institutes in the
country. There are also insufficient number of skilled welders
for the sector. There is a need for equitable access to relevant
training services such as this one at Sunmaker institute,” she