The government will soon launch a web-based platform that will be linking university graduates with opportunities available on the labour market.
The move is one of the resolutions of the 15th Leadership Retreat held in February last year, which recommended the establishment of graduate data base and a platform to link them with job opportunities.
Speaking to The New Times, Francois Ngoboka, the Acting Director of Capacity Development and Employment at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said that the platform could be completed after one month and get launched.
“We have made tangible progress in creating data base of university graduates and a platform to link them to job opportunities. The development of the system is 75 per cent complete,” he said.
The partners, he said, also include the Ministry of Education through High Education Council, public and private universities, the Ministry of Public service and Labour, Rwanda Social Security Board, National Identification Agency (NIDA) and Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), which is in charge of student loans disbursement among others.
He said that so far over 159,000 university graduates have been registered in the data base and the platform.
“University graduates who are being put into the data base are those who graduated five years ago to date as they are the ones who need to be linked to job opportunities the most,” he said.
Figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) show that unemployment among graduates of tertiary education is at 18 per cent while those who completed high school stands at 23 per cent.
“We have to know what the graduate studied at university and know if they are currently employed or jobless. We also identify if they are working as entrepreneurs or work for others in public or private institutions. If we find that a graduate has a job, we also have to identify if they are doing what is related to their field of education or if there is a mismatch” he noted.
He added that those who will not have been registered in the platform by the time it is launched, will be able to register themselves later.
“All public and private universities will also have a template on the platform where they have to upload all their graduates so that it helps us to capture graduate data earlier and thus be able to track them, “he added.
Potential employers and investors to have access
The official said that the platform will allow potential employers and investors to have access to the platform so as to be able to match the graduates with skills they need.
“The employers can access the system and select which graduates have skills they need. We will intervene in linking them to jobs or internship opportunities,” he said.
According to RDB, a recent survey found that about 60 per cent of graduates get jobs or create their own employment after completing internships in private and public institutions.
A similar platform, Labour Market Information System, existed previously but with minimal impact.
The Ministry of Agriculture has also come up with an initiative to deploy university graduates in farmers’ cooperatives, agro-processing SMEs among many others for internship and job opportunities.