TOP STORY: Private sector to bridge skills gap

The shortage of human skills in the private sector has been identified to be worse in the hospitality industry which is said to have a total skills gap of 69.4 percent. A recently published National Skills Audit report said that there is a 40 percent skills gap in all sectors of the economy. The report highlighted a severe human skills shortage in the private sector.

The shortage of human skills in the private sector has been identified to be worse in the hospitality industry which is said to have a total skills gap of 69.4 percent.

A recently published National Skills Audit report said that there is a 40 percent skills gap in all sectors of the economy. The report highlighted a severe human skills shortage in the private sector.

The skills audit was conducted in the public and private sectors by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour in collaboration with the Human Resources and Institutional Capacity Development Agency (HIDA) and the President’s Office.

The report said, “The skills gap is severest in the private sector which is reported a 60 percent deficit based on the sector’s short term needs. The public sector has 30 percent skills deficit and the civil society 5 percent deficit.”

Furthermore, according to the audit report, in the private sector, the skills deficit is most acute in key sectors of the economy including tourism, construction, agriculture, finance and mining.

“This raises the question whether the private sector can be the engine of growth with its current skills profile,” the report says.

The shortage of human skills in the private sector has been identified to be worse in the hospitality industry which is said to have a total skills gap of 69.4 percent.

This comes at a time when tourism has been identified as the country’s leading foreign exchange earner at the moment. The report quotes the skills gap in the private sector under the hospitality sector professionals’ deficit is at 55 percent, technicians 12 percent and for artisan 53 percent. 

Rwanda’s goal in tourism sector is to develop a “high-end eco-tourism.”  And that this will depend on the quality of the service the country offers.

In technical cases (supervisors, assistant chefs) the sector has only four percent of the skills required in position. This means that in this category there is a 96 percent deficit. For artisans (waiters, cleaners) there is only 30 percent staff in place, meaning there is a 70 percent deficit.

Faustin K. Mbundu, Vice Chairman Rwanda Private Sector Federation (PSF) said, “we have a capacity building programme supposed to address part of the challenges”.

In 2007 the PSF and the African Capacity Building Foundation signed a four year grant agreement worth $1.7m.

According to Mbundu, the grant should be able to build and strengthen the human and institutional capacities in the country’s private sector.

However, he says that this is not enough for the private sector to contribute to the overall poverty reduction and economic development of the country.

He said there are other institutions like the World Bank, GTZ and the African Development Bank giving support to the Rwanda private sector in the areas of human capacity development.

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