TVET graduates begin 6-months internship

250 graduates from vocational and technical schools around the country will, for the next six months, undergo hands-on skills training in various institutions. The training program is facilitated by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) in partnership with the Dutch Embassy. Speaking to The New Times at the induction meeting yesterday, the Director of Employment at PSF, Antoine Manzi, said the program stems from a survey conducted in 2009.
PSF Director of Employment Antoine Manzi speaks to graduates under the internship program yesterday. The New Times John Mbanda.
PSF Director of Employment Antoine Manzi speaks to graduates under the internship program yesterday. The New Times John Mbanda.

250 graduates from vocational and technical schools around the country will, for the next six months, undergo hands-on skills training in various institutions.

The training program is facilitated by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) in partnership with the Dutch Embassy.

Speaking to The New Times at the induction meeting yesterday, the Director of Employment at PSF, Antoine Manzi, said the program stems from a survey conducted in 2009.

It indicated that many technical graduates in Rwanda were unemployable due to lack of skills and experience which is key in technical work.

“We established that many people employed in jobs that require technical training are foreigners despite the very many Rwandan graduates,” said Manzi, adding that the training would help the students convert the theory they learned in schools into tangible skills.

He explained that the experience they received through previous similar training programs is that companies that offer internship opportunities retain 60 percent of the students while the remaining use the skills acquired to set up their own businesses.

Addressing the hundreds of students who turned up for the induction, Manzi urged them to fully capitalise on the opportunity and get the best out of it.

“Work with devotion and discipline. You are going to these companies to learn, so you have to be careful, learn the maximum and impress your trainers.”

He explained that the over 80 companies that they are working with give  positive feedbacks, calling it a win-win situation.

The government through the Workforce Development Authority (WDA) embarked on a program to revamp Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET),.

Originally, the teaching of the courses was supplier-driven which focused on theory which makes up 60 percent of what is taught.

This means that students would leave school with no practical skills mostly due to lack of equipment in most of the schools.

In an interview, Daria Ingabire, a graduate of Tumba College of Technology said that she was excited at the opportunity because it would help her get exposed to the world of employment and increase her confidence.

Alfred Maniragaba, a graduate in automobile mechanics believes the internship would help him turn the theory he learnt in school into valuable skills that would help him earn a living.

The interns will be attached to hotels, construction companies, IT and electronic companies, among others.

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