Local garment factories secure funding to create jobs

Workers at a local garment factory at Kigali Special Economic Zone in Gasabo District on Thursday, July 19, 2018. / Sam Ngendahimana.

Local garment factories are part of 117 private companies in manufacturing, agro-processing, energy, hospitality, ICT, transport and logistics that have received over Rwf2B from the government to train and provide young people with relevant practical skills needed on labour market.

Over 3,515 jobless people under the age of 35 will soon be deployed by the government to these private companies that will train them on practical skills before employing most of them and help others to create their own jobs.

The number is part of over 10,000 people, a majority of them young people, who are targeted to be trained and thus get job opportunities under the support from Government of Rwanda through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) after receiving a grant from World Bank.

The program is providing grants to firms with the most responsive proposals as an effective instrument to rapidly reduce skills gaps and create employment opportunities.

After the training, the companies are supposed to employ most of the trainees while others will be able to create their own jobs.

In addition, each trainee receives Rwf2,000 as stipend every day.

Government through WDA has signed contracts with 117 companies to train young people on practical skills with aim to employ them or help them create jobs. Courtesy photo.

Maryse Mukangabo Mbonyumutwa, the Co-Founder of Pink Mango C&D factory that started operations at the Special Economic Zone in May 2019 said that the support will help to increase skilled labor they are looking for.

The factory is expected to receive Rwf600 million grant from the government to train over 1,000 young people for the period between three and six months.

“The support is timely and important. We are currently employing over 1,000 people. We are targeting to employ 7,500 workers in the next five years. This means training more people under the grant provided to us is a big boost,” she said.

Mukangabo said that they currently have market in Rwanda, France, Germany and England.

Marie Claire Uwamahoro, the representative of a factory called Iyiwacu Sewing Ltd producing garments for women and children and located in Kicukiro district, said that they received Rwf15 million from the government to train 25 people.

“When I launched the company, I experienced different challenges including lacked of skilled workers in refining garments and make them competitive on international market. The government support will improve skills of 25 people and I will employ 20 of them,” she said.

“When the government began phasing out second-hand garments, I tapped into this opportunity to launch a factory in 2018. I did ICT at school and I will also train the workers on using ICT in our garment production,” she said.

Pascal Gatabazi, the Director of Workforce Development Authority reiterated that the initiative of engaging private sector aims at minimising skills gaps among workers which affects private business operators and enabling government to meet the target of creating at least 1.5 million fresh jobs by 2024.

“The companies will be rapidly increasing the supply of skills in high demand on labor market and easing the entry of new entrants to the labor market by providing them with relevant skills on labor market,” he said.

He said that the private companies have been selected to train and create job opportunities for the young people after evaluating the companies’ proposals before giving them these grants.

“Our young people will get employment but also the businesses will be able to get skilled people. We have to collaborate to ensure the trainings are well facilitated. We will also carry out auditing to assess if the trainings provided expected results,” he said.

The companies will be providing enough practical skills that people might have not acquired from school and employ them after training. This is also part of attracting investors since when they want to open business in Rwanda, they lack skilled people to employ, he said.

Gatabazi said that at least 80 per cent of the trainees will be able to get jobs after the trainings.

“Government has set up measures to create jobs every year. Therefore we have to build capacity of schools to strengthen practices for students. But also we also need the contribution of private sector to receive students and do practices in the companies in terms of minimizing the skills gap,”

The program is intended to minimize skills gaps by rapidly increasing the supply of high demand skills in the labor market,” he noted.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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