Antoine Manzi, the Director of Employment at the Private Sector Federation (PSF) has said that PSF intends to take more concrete steps to fill the skills gap.
In an interview with Business Times that a new post in PSF was created to oversee the skills development and improvement within the private sector.
“We are going to carry out an employment survey. In this we shall find out how many companies we have, challenges in terms of skills, employee satisfaction and what is needed to improve,” he explained.
He further said that on completion of the survey, strategies will be formulated to close the skills gap.
Molly Rugamba who is currently the acting CEO of PSF after Emmanuel Hategeka was relocated as Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Commerce is tasked with overseeing capacity building, a directorate that has been merged with Directorate of Entrepreneurship.
Manzi said that PSF was playing a role in improving the quality of skills like ensuring industrial training.
“We are paying insurance to mitigate damages for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) students to be allowed internship opportunities,” he said.
Besides the skills gap, the private sector is undermined by poor business skills which directly interfere with the sustainability of most Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
Rugamba said that the employment department is vital because it will be used to streamline and implement the required employment standards by International Labour Organisation (ILO), a United Nations agency overseeing justice in the labour sector.
She also said that it will be used as a platform to mitigate arising issues between workers and trade unions as by the new labor code.
“The department makes possible collective bargaining for example if there is an issue affecting workers’ sector it will tabled within the employment office,” she said.
Over the past 9 years since PSF’s creation, the institution has endeavored to impart business knowledge amongst a private sector of 72,000 enterprises through 17 Business Development Service (BDS) centers spread countrywide.
The target is to have a BDS center per district by 2012.
Recently, resident accountants were introduced us another program intended to help businessmen with consultation services on accounting.