The City of Kigali has finalised plans to set up an employment service centre to help link job-seekers with potential employers, The New Times has learnt.
The rationale behind the creation of the Kigali Employment Service Centre (KESC) is to help check the ever-growing unemployment rate, according to city officials.
“Plans are already in advanced stages, and if all goes well, the centre should be in place by next month,” Bruno Rangira, the city’s Director of Communications, told this newspaper yesterday.
He said the city council had already approved the proposed centre, and a recruitment drive for people to run the platform was underway.
The centre will receive and post on a designated portal profiles of jobseekers, mainly university, and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates, as well as available vacancies from public and private institutions. The centre will also provide important employment tips to fresh graduates, including guidance on how to conduct themselves during a job interview, according to officials.
It will also facilitate jobseekers with a secretariat for application purposes.
Employers too, according to plans, will find it easier to locate qualified potential employees since they will be able to access a pool of CVs from job-seekers with diverse training backgrounds.
The centre will also gather information about vacancies in regional and international organisations and post it on the same portal.
“We will always maintain an updated database that serves the needs of both the employers and jobseekers,” Rangira explained.
A similar platform, albeit on a small-scale, existed previously in the Workforce Development Authority (WDA), but it was later transferred to the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
According to Lucie Kabatesi, a communications officer with RDB, the platform, dubbed Labour Market Information System (LMIS), is in operation and can help policymakers to take informed decisions about labour issues. But she said the portal is not broad enough to serve all Rwandan jobseekers and employers.
Asked whether the move by Kigali City Council would not amount to duplication of what RDB is already doing, Kabatesi said the two institutions were working together on the city’s employment centre.
Statistics indicate that at least 100,000 job seekers join the Rwandan labour market annually, which has prompted the government to embark on several schemes with the objective of creating a corresponding number of jobs or more every year.
Anna Mugabo, the director of labour and employment in the Ministry of Public Service and Labour, expressed optimism in the proposed KESC, stating that similar schemes had made a huge impact in several developed countries.
“Ours will be working as a one-stop career centre and our ministry will be one of the major actors in this process. We will regularly monitor the progress,” she told The New Times yesterday.
City officials say that by matching jobseekers’ profiles with their corresponding job vacancies, the initiative will facilitate both sides (employers and jobseekers) to achieve their objectives without much difficulty.
The Government has said it considers jobs, especially off-farm jobs, a top priority even as it continues to encourage entrepreneurship – with both aspects viewed as key to the realisation of the country’s Vision 2020.
According to the 2010/11 Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV3), unemployment rate in the City of Kigali stands at 13 per cent.
Adam Tchelezo, who graduated from the Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) in 2010 but is yet to get a job, welcomed the development.
“Almost all major institutions in Kigali have my resume, but I am yet to get a positive feedback from any. With such a centre it would be easier for fresh graduates to get job placements,” he said.
However, officials at the Private Sector Federation (PSF) say they were not consulted about the proposed employment service centre.
Nonetheless, Gerald Mukubu, the deputy CEO, PSF, welcomed the initiative saying it would serve employers.