Youth leaders in Ruhango District have been urged to promote Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), especially among high school dropouts as one of the ways that could help skill young people and reduce unemployment.
Alphonse Munezero, the National Youth Council co-ordinator for Ruhango District, said it is their duty as youth leaders to create opportunities for fellow youth, adding that lack of skills puts young people at a disadvantage as they cannot compete on the job market. Speaking in an interview with Business Times, the youth leader also called on young people to embrace a savings culture to secure their future. The district has 21 youth cooperatives and 73 savings groups. The cooperatives are engaged in different income-generating activities in agriculture, carpentry, construction, arts and crafts, weaving baskets, and plumbing.
Francois Habiyaremye, the Ruhango Youth Centre co-ordinator, called for establishing of more youth training centres in the district to address the challenge of skills gap in the area and the country generally.
Habiyaremye said there is only one centre in the district which cannot absorb the huge number of youth that want to acquire technical training after completing secondary school.
“The country cannot develop unless it has skilled youth. Therefore, we are training the youth to address the unemployment challenge and transform the economy.”
Olivier Nsabimana, one of the youth, said he joined the centre after completing high school, adding that the practical skills acquired later, helped him start a business.
“Most of the young people finish high school and fail to get jobs because they lack skills demanded by the labour market or cannot create their own jobs. So, this centre is one of the solutions to these problems as it is helping fill the skills gap,” Nsabimana said.
Lea Umukunzi, the Business Development Fund (BDF) director for business development and employment in Ruhango District, said over Rwf43 million was disbursed to 84 projects last financial year.
BDF provides bankable projects credit guarantees, as well as equity support to start-up and managing matching grants.