The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) has endeavored so much to provide trainers in different fields to pass on skills to the entire population, especially the youth. Through different partnerships WDA is grooming up trainers with required training capacity at the international level. Eleven trainers from the Hospitality are at Les Roches International School of Hotel Management in Switzerland to upgrade their skills in courses which include; Front office operations, Food & Beverage and Culinary Art.
This has been possible through the cooperation between WDA and Les Roches under an MoU signed on February 15, 2011 that permits the trainers to undergo Master of Business Administration in Hospitality Management and Diploma in Hospitality Administration. With the hope of starting Remera Hospitality Academy in Kigali very soon, many hotel & restaurant employees will benefit from trainings which will even be extended to the outskirts of Kigali city.
In partnership with the Chinese government through the China Railway Engineering Consultants group a contract was signed for the construction of a proposed demand driven Technical and Vocational School to be located in MUSANZE District. The 13 Million US dollar project expected to start early June 2012 will mainly cover four sectors namely; Construction and Building services, Hospitality and Tourism, Agriculture and Food processing.
The knowledge of technical and vocational skills has been identified as one of the key sectors for the economic growth in Rwanda. WDA and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ) provide support to upgrade skills to the Rwandan labor market.
This support is targeting innovative approaches for further training. ‘The Upgrade Your Skills Initiative’ aims at upgrading existing basic skills through short term trainings, contributing to having better a skilled labour force and increasing productivity and quality of products and services. The target group is made up of public and private companies, cooperatives, training providers as well as associations willing to upgrade skills of their employees and other interested outsiders.
Through collaboration with the MICROS Company from South Africa, based in Cape Town and Durban, Hospitality trainers have also undergone training in MICROS 3700 Point-of-Sale system designed to speed up service for guests in hotels and restaurants. These trainers still have a mission to pass on skill acquired to restaurant and hotel employees across the country.
WDA), Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB) and the National School of International Truck and Heavy Equipment (E.N.C.E.L in French acronym) based in Québec-Canada entered partnership aimed at training Rwandans in operation, maintenance and mechanics of Heavy machinery as well as driving of heavy trucks and trailers. This training facility in heavy machinery expected to be located at Gaculiro is intended to bridge the big skills gap in this field.
As Rwanda foresees big projects in the near future like the construction of the Airport in Bugesera, the railway and other unforeseen projects, this joint venture through the Public- Private Partnership will give energy to Rwanda’s labor market.
Blackburn College ( based in UK), WDA and the Rwanda’s Private Sector Federation signed an MoU in 2011 to work as long term strategic partners in creating a sustainable TVET, entrepreneurship focusing on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development, women’s empowerment linking to the first lady’s Imbuto Foundation, and creation of business incubation Units.
This will promote fundamental skills in technical education by learning from Blackburn College in terms of apprenticeship, practical skills on a vocational course, etc
Spearheading the promotion of TVET training
From the time Technical and Vocational Education Training was put under full control by WDA, the institution conducted for the first time national theoretical and practical exams in 2011. On February 7, WDA also began a nation-wide orientation of 0-level graduates joining Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) for the 2012 Academic year.
As a means of making great impact from TVET training, each school has been encouraged to apply double shift programs. In TSSs, the morning sessions are scheduled from 7:30 am to 13: 15 pm, while the afternoon shift dedicated to VTC program starts at 14:00pm and ends at 17: 35pm (Monday-Friday), and from 7:30am to 13:35 on Saturdays. In VTCs, morning session starts at 7:30am up to 12:45pm while the afternoon session begins at 13:10pm to 17:35pm (Monday-Friday) and from 7:30am to 11:55am on Saturdays.
In September, 2011 WDA launched Solid works training at Nyanza Technical Secondary School (Nyanza TSS/ former ETO Gitarama), as a pilot school for the southern province. Solid works is 3D mechanical CAD computer-aided design software that is largely utilized in various industries including mechanical, structural, architectural, furniture, automotive, electronics, etc. The three month training was provided by Gasabo 3D Engineering Design Company.
In order to introducing the usage of Solid works as educational tool to Rwanda’s technical colleges, four pilot schools have been identified and these are: the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center (IPRC-Kigali), Tumba College of Technology (TCT), Nyanza TSS and Nyamata TSS.
Support to Multimedia Industry
Through collaboration with pixel Corps, a US-based digital media firm the Africa Digital Multimedia Academy has already started operating in Rwanda. The school which is located in premises formerly used by the E-ICT Integrated Training Center in Kigali targets young people for skills development to enable them compete both at national & international level. In addition, it is meant to help young professionals and graduates who still require on-job training especially media practitioners.
The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) through its curriculum development unit has been engaged in developing training packages for TVET schools. ICT training packages for example have been developed. This has been done in different trades such as Hardware & Troubleshooting, Network Administration, Software development and Multimedia to be used by all Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) in the country. With the support of the Belgium Common Programme (PAFP) specific modules for “Field crop grower” and veterinary qualifications from complete curricula also been developed.
Increasing enrollment of girls in TVET programs
WDA in collaboration with the Ministry of Education are engaged in a long term plan of increasing the enrolment of girls into TVET training institutions. This exercise involves bringing together all all TVET stakeholders. The 2010 WDA data collection report highlighted that out of 26.5 % of students enrolled in TSSs, only 6.5 % were girls. On the other hand, the 2011 MINEDUC data collection report showed that in Vocational Training Centers (VTCs), the enrolment of girls was only at 27.3%.
However, the target of enrolling 40% of the students from the 9 year basic Education into TVET programs has almost been realized. Out of 79710 students who completed the 9 year basic Education in the year 2011, 31884 have been enrolled into TVET programs.
Promoting public awareness on the role of TVET
While promoting public awareness on TVET still remains a challenge, WDA has been involved in activities that could alert a larger population about the importance of acquiring technical skills. Among many ways, WDA in partnership with the Private Sector Federation organized the first and ever TVET Expo in Rwanda that ran from December 08-12, 2011. The aim was to promote the involvement of the private, public sectors and development partners in the implementation of the TVET system. This kind of forum is also intended to foster partnerships between TVET schools and business companies in facilitating the industrial attachment programs. The next target will be taking this arrangement to the East African level as part of marketing TVET at regional level
Campaign on Industrial Attachment
(WDA) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have embarked on a nation-wide campaign to urge private companies & cooperatives for continuous support to TVET students in their Industrial Attachment Program (IAP). This campaign has covered the districts of Kicukiro, Gasabo, Bugesera, Nyarugenge, Rwamagana Ngoma , Kayonza, Kamonyi, Muhanga, Ruhango, Nyanza, Huye, Gisagara, Nyaruguru, Nyagatare, Rulindo, Musanze, Nyabihu, Rubavu, and Kirehe.
The Rwanda National Police (RNP) in collaboration with WDA and the ministry of Infrastructure are in a phase of constructing a new logistics school at the Police Training School of Gishali in Rwamagana district. The aim is to promote skills development and professionalism among the police force. The RNP Academy will offer programs like Carpentry, Masonry, Plumbing, Welding, General mechanics, Automotive and heavy equipment and driving. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2012 at an estimated cost of RWF 2,089,606,860.
Regarding the provision of work-readiness skills, WDA in collaboration with the Akazi Kanoze Youth Livelihoods Project have been supporting Rwandan youth in public and private institutions by providing them with market-relevant life and work readiness training.
In its nation-wide sensitization campaign, the Skills Development Project (SDP) operating within WDA on Tuesday May 22, 2012 announced the availability of grants to TVET providers that will enable them pass on skills needed and encourage innovations in the delivery of training programs which match the pressing labor market needs in Rwanda. The grants provided through support of the World Bank are available for potential applicants ranging from 6 to 60 million Rwandan francs and are expected to be utilized in a period of about three months.
In collaboration with the Japan International cooperation (JICA), WDA has dispatched log books to Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) about Industrial Attachment program (IAP). The distribution of the IAP is purposely meant to make its implementation effective to students. In ensuring that the government’s goals and objectives of skills development are achieved, WDA together with other institutions including the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) are engaged in providing guidance and support to introduce the policy of career guidance advisory services for skills development in Rwanda’s Education system.
WDA) in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) have been in the process of promoting robot competitions in car programing and line-tracing car. The aim of the Robot contest is to provide an opportunity to apply engineering skills and knowledge into practice and contribute to the strengthening of practice-oriented technical Education among training institutions. The last robot competitions were held on March 24, 2012 at “Khana Khazana” food court (Kigali City Tower) bringing together competitors from the National University of Rwanda, Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Tumba College of Technology (TCT), Kicukiro College of Technology (IPRC- Kigali), Umutara Polytechnic (UP), Nyanza TSS (former ETO Gitarama), Muhima TSS, Kibungo TSS, , Nyamata TSS and SOS technical school. Tumba College of Technology (TCT) won the last robot competitions in car programing while Umutara Polytechnic (UP) excelled in line-tracing car during the last competitions.
WDA in collaboration with the Rwanda Arts Initiative (RAI) on March 30th, 2012 officially launched the first symposium of “ART MAKERS” in Rwanda. This event that took place at the Hotel des Mille Collines was intended at building capacity in Rwanda’s Art industry, networking cultural entrepreneurs with national and international producers, and displaying creativity among Rwandan Artists. Like any other sector, the art industry is capable of contributing to Rwanda’s Gross Domestic Product. WDA and RAI forged partnership that will lead to skills development through Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), towards professionalization of Rwanda’s Art industry.
In collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), WDA has trained Industrial liaison Officers (ILOs) from TVET schools. This training is intended to equip ILOs with the common understanding on Industrial Attachment Program (IAP) in order to achieve its best practice. The first beneficiaries of this kind of training were Vocational Training Centers (VTCs), Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centers (IPRCs), Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Development Centre and the Akilah Institute for Women in Rwanda.
The Workforce Development Authority (WDA) on Friday May 2012 hosted an International Consultative Conference on the Draft Rwanda TVET Qualification Framework (RTQF). This conference that brought together participants from the East African countries took place at the Kigali Serena Hotel and the objective was to solicit views and recommendations at regional and international levels so as to improve the national TVET Qualification Framework, and conform it to the best practices. After this step, the RTQF is expected to be approved by early June 2012.