The project manager of skills development fund, Livingston Byandaga has called on Rwandan Youths to join Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) as a way of working with the country to becoming a middle income economy.
According to Mr. Byandaga, Rwandan Youths are increasingly applying their earned technical knowhow into self employment and the combination of the knowledge and skills has changed lives as it has solved unemployment problem for most of them.
He was speaking while officiating the launch of a cottage industry training project in Nyagatare district, Eastern Province.
The training was organized by Assist Rwanda, a non-profit organization that works to improve lives of the most disadvantaged youth in Rwanda. The training was funded by Workforce Development Authority (WDA) through the Skills Development Fund (SDF).
The cottage industry which was launched is currently conducting a 3 month training for 117 youth of different categories in making liquid soap, bar soap, shampoo, Jik , wood preservatives, candles, petroleum jelly, liquid hand jelly, chalk, paint, hair conditioner, shoe polish, among other products.
“If you look at countries like Singapore, Korea and many others that have rapidly developed are attributing it to TVETs. We need more Rwandan youth to join them (TVET) and lift our country’s economy,” said Byandaga.
“The country wants to attain a middle income economy by 11.5% in 5 years to come. This does not greatly require University graduates…but people with hands on skills to help meet this target.” He added.
Assist Rwanda received a grant worth over 40 million Rwandan francs in the first round of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) grants awarded by the World Bank through WDA, to enable the implementation of TVET.
Livingstone Byandaga the SDF program manager urged trainees to master the skills passed on here with a great ambition to share them and compete at the regional labour market. He further told them (trainers) to think of other innovations related to producing raw materials for the products they make instead of importing them regularly.
Jennifer Kansime, one of the trainees and a final year Finance student at Finance at Umutara Polytechnic revealed her decision of joining this training centre as being the fact that she wants to become a job creator immediately after completing her studies. Speaking on behalf of other trainers, she noted the existence of a big rate of unemployment in Rwanda, a reason why young people should greatly be involved in technical and vocational training.
According to the Chairman of Assist-Rwanda, Emmanuel Shamakokera, trainees are also provided with skills on how to make cooperatives and will also acquire start-up capital to sustain the implementation of their skills.
“From these trainees, we are striving hard to develop trainers who will pass on skills to the whole country. This is owing to the fact that all trainees are currently expatriates,” he said.
As a way to manage the increasing number of trainees, Assist-Rwanda is constructing a Youth Employment and Children Sharing Centre in Nyagatare district.