Youth unemployment rate continues to soar
For Mr Lubowa Musoke, a metal workshop entrepreneur in Rubaga, Kampala, attaining vocational skills is but not good enough, especially to the young people who do not have capital to start their own enterprises.
He thus advises the government to increase its funding to vocational income generating projects if the problem of unemployment is to be reduced. “Since there are fewer government jobs, it is important that people seek self-employment but this is hindered by lack of start-up capital,” he says.
According to Mr Musoke, the government should ensure that the young entrepreneurs are availed with capital in form of soft loans or better yet, exempt small scale industries from paying tax.
Projects such as carpentry, and metal welding can be rewarding to an extent that a person may not even think of looking for formal employment.
“For example, I started my business four years ago with only Shs7m but it has grown to over Shs30 million and I am able to pay fees for my children and take care of my family,” Mr Musoke says.
The government has initiated several youth focused projects to promote entrepreneurship skills. For example, under the youth capital venture fund, Shs25 billion was provided in the financial year (2012/13) as start-up capital for the youth and medium enterprises.
In 2010, the government launched the non-formal training programme under the Ministry of Education and Sports, which saw a significant number of Ugandans acquiring non-formal skills which they can utilise to increase production.
In 2012, the government launched a new education programme named, “Skilling Uganda” meant to introduce short courses for school leavers at primary seven, senior four and six, school dropouts and graduates.
It is aimed at giving learners an opportunity to go through a parallel education programme to that of formal education.