The Integrated Polytechnic Regional Center East (IPRC East) on Friday awarded certificates to 231 people who completed vocational training courses since 2012.
The institution offers free vocational training in motor vehicle mechanics, domestic electrical installation, welding, masonry and ICT.
The Principal, Ephraim Musonera, said the drive to offer free vocational training to the youth feeds into the national programme of creating 200,000 off-farm jobs per year.
The trainings also aims at demonstrating benefits of vocational training to younger people so that they may drop the negative perception held by some about such jobs. What they will do will spread our message related to awareness on Technical and Vocational Education and Training,’’ he said.
Musonera thanked the trainers, students and other stakeholders for the fruitful collective efforts in ensuring successful completion of the courses.
He encouraged the graduates to form cooperatives while starting up small businesses.
“Develop business plans, start income generating projects and form cooperatives to join efforts and approach financial institutions for support.
“Soon you will become employers and when you succeed in this, you will be able to change your lives and that of others,” he added.
Silver Ngarambe, Ngoma District official in charge of good governance, reiterated the need to form cooperatives, noting that when organized under cooperatives small income-generating projects would grow into big businesses.
Ngarambe commended IPRC East for working to improve the living standards of the people through skills development.
“The main start-up capital is the skills you now have. Financial institutions like Saccos will not hesitate to support you if you have well-designed projects,” he said.
The institution plans to set up an incubation and career guidance center, so as to keep track of the progress made by those who receive the training as they transition into successful young entrepreneurs.
Ernestine Mukanoheri, one of those who completed training in domestic electricity wiring said she would use the skills to start making money.
She is part of a team of six who earned Rwf50,000 for wiring a house during practical lessons while still students.
“I will start working immediately; I [started making] money already while still a student,” she said.
Anaclet Ugiyecyera, who completed training in motor vehicle mechanics, said some of his colleagues had already created their own jobs while others were employed in established businesses.