Graduates in vocational and technical courses have been called upon to use their skills to create their own jobs instead of wandering around in search of white-collar employment.
The message was delivered last week by various speakers during a graduation ceremony of 205 technical and vocational education and training (TVET) students who completed their studies at ERM-Hope Vocational Training Centre based in Kabuga, Kicukiro District.
The graduates trained in carpentry, welding, masonry, sewing, culinary, and hair dressing, among others. A total of 148 graduates were girls, while 57 were boys. The high number of girls was commended with many saying it was proof of the progress registered in promoting girls’ education and enrollment in technical-related courses.
During the ceremony, three graduates who exhibited outstanding performances in discipline and academics were awarded special certificates and money prizes.
The best overall performer was Constantine Nyiraneza with 97 per cent, followed by Joseph Nkundimana. Jackson Bahati was awarded for his exceptional discipline.
George William Rwambari, the head of ERM-Hope Vocational Training Centre, noted that upon graduating, the students are helped to get support from Business Development Fund (BDF) to create their own jobs through start-ups.
“In our programmes, we focus on hands-on skills so that once the student graduates they can apply the acquired knowledge. We encourage them to work under cooperatives because team work will help them to be more productive. They are well-equipped, they have gone for internships and we expect that they bring about positive change on the job market,” he said.
Gregory English, the executive director, ERM Rwanda, advised the graduates to explore their skills, believe in themselves and take action by starting their own projects to impact the community.
He added that discipline and accountability will be key to their future success.
Francine Ngirimana, who graduated in culinary arts, says she is upbeat about the prospect of being self-employed.
“I am a mother of one child. I completed my secondary school studies in 2008 but was not lucky to be employed. Last year, I joined TVET with the dream to be self-employed. The acquired skills will help me to meet my expectations,” she said.