By Grace Mugoya
The government established the National Employment Programe (NEP) articulated under EDPRS2 as a tool to strengthen the coordination of employment programs through better planning, implementation and coordination from different stakeholders engaged in job creation and employment promotion, all of which feed into the annual target of creating 200,000 off farm jobs for Youth,Women and people with disability, who are the most affected groups by unemployment.
The NEP aims at creating sufficient jobs that are adequately remunerative and sustainable across the economy; Equipping the workforce with vital skills and attitude for increased productivity that are needed for the private sector growth.
Under the coordination of the Ministry of Public Service and Labour (MIFOTRA), NEP is jointly implemented by; Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of local Government, Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Ministry of Youth and ICT (MYICT) and the Ministry of Education.
Agencies include: Workforce Development Authority (WDA), Business Development Fund (BDF), Rwanda Development Board and National Capacity Building Secretariat among others.
NEP has four pillars;
PILLAR ONE: EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS DEVELOPMENT
WDA provides short term massive vocational trainings which are demand driven and largely informed by Districts economic and business potentials. Graduates from those short term training are being supported to get start up toolkit and equipment to enterprise practical skills acquired for self-employment.
Developing the necessary supply of skills for a productively employed population has called for coordination with other sectors to ensure skill’s development are responsive practically to the labour market needs.
WDA has came up with Business Incubation Centres (BIC) with two main mandates; transferring and conversion of technology to be relevant in the labour market and building on the capacity and knowledge for human skills to further impact the labourmarket. Currently, WDA has two BIC’s; Nyarutarama and one in Masaka, Kicukiro district.
The BIC started operation early this year with two core missions; training the youth so they can acquire hands-on skills as well as facilitating business creation to ensure that those trained get to the job market.
In this BICtrades being offered include bakery, ceramics and tailoring and design. The other trades are juice processing, cheese products, leather products,catch-up processing, toilet paper making, edible oil processing and chips making. Others are soya milk making, AC and refrigeration as well as telephone repair among others.
On behalf of the NEP, WDA as an implementing partner has entered partnerships with various investors and this has enabled the subsidizing of trainings to further equip more youth with hands-on skills