Technical skills registered highest rate of employment in 2018

A student during a welding practical session. The Labour Force Survey found that graduates in TVET were more successful than those in general education. Net photo.

Motor vehicle mechanics was the most successful training course in 2018 with current employment rate of 80.6 percent, followed by automotive technology with 77.6 percent, a workforce survey report has revealed.

The Labour Force Survey Annual Report was released early this month by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda.  

The report indicated that, in total an estimated 674,452 persons completed a trade or technical vocational course in Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET)] programmes.

The most popular training course was tailoring with participation rate of 28.7 percent, followed by masonry with 23.6 percent and carpentry with 7.8 percent.

Carpentry had 52,693 people learning such a technical skill, representing 7.8 percent total participants in the training programme; automotive body repair had 36,901, or 5.5 percent; welding 19,356, equivalent to 2.9 percent; engine mechanics had 7,847, accounting for 1.2 percent; while automotive technology had 7,177, representing 1.1 percent.

Evaluating the success or failure of the training courses in terms of the current employment status of the graduates, the survey asserted that training courses with the highest percentage of graduates currently employed were the most successful, and training courses with the lowest percentage of graduates currently employed were the least successful.

In this sense, it appears [through the study that among the training courses with more than 1 percent of the graduates, automotive technology was the most successful training course with current employment rate of 77.6 percent, followed by automotive body repair 75.2 percent), carpentry (74.9 percent), welding (72.9 percent), and Engine mechanics (62.1 percent).

Though motor vehicle engine mechanics was leading in employability with a rate of 80.6 percent, it had 6,798 participants, or 1 percent of the total number of people engaged in acquisition of various technical skills.

This technical branch consists of assessing, maintaining and repairing motor vehicle engines.

Talking about automotive technology, it is the practical application of knowledge about self-propelled vehicles or machines. Students studying automotive technology learn about engine construction, fuel and ignition systems, power trains, brakes, transmissions, electronic and diagnostic equipment, and more, according to Brigham Young University-Idaho (BYU-Idaho) in the United States of America.

Students in this field of study become skilled in operating a variety of hand and machine tools and are in charge of repairing and maintaining automobiles of all kinds.

The students can also get involved in designing and constructing all kinds of automobiles: from large industrial equipment to the latest in sports car design.

According to BYU-Idaho, people who study automotive technology have good job security because all vehicles are bound to need repairs throughout their driving life.

Ernest Nsabimana, Principal of Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre of Karongi (IPRC Karongi) in Western Province, told Sunday Times that TVET skills such as automotive technology and automotive body repair are needed on the job market because they help in effective diagnosis of car problems and fixing them using technology.

“The students learn how to repair a car once it has been involved in an accident, g,” he said.

There is when, he said, Ugandans and Kenyans were controlling the market in Gatsata (a car repair area in Gasabo District) as they had such skills.

“But currently, Rwandans are also getting the skills,” he said.

Overall, the Labour Force Survey found that graduates in TVET were more successful than graduates in general education at the labour market, whereby the proportion of employed population among those who completed TVET was 58 percent while the corresponding proportion among those who followed general education was 43.9 percent.