Growth in the Demand for Labour
Most countries have seen considerable growth in the demand for labour with higher skills and educational levels in the past decades. In many countries, supply has not grown correspondingly. This has resulted in increasing differences. Differences either in unemployment or wages between high and low skilled workers. Or, it becomes impossible to find enough skilled workers. In some countries, the labour supply does not follow the demand.
Public schools—and indeed, no government institution—can be operated as a business. The school can supply skilled workers to fill a part of the demand. A way to improve schools in a country is not to run the school like a business, but as a business.
Uganda is an example of a country where it is impossible to find enough skilled workers. Therefore, over the years the priority of education has not gone towards the Vocational training. As a result, the labour supply of skilled workers does not follow the demand.
Youth unemployment in Uganda is the highest in Africa. A recent study showed that the youth unemployment is 62%, although the African Development Bank says it could be as high as 83%. Uganda has the world’s most significant percentage of young people under 30 – 78% (The Guardian January 16th, 2014). Therefore, the demand for vocational skills in Uganda is high.
NKB Vocational Centre in Uganda
We shall establish a hub in Luweero, 80 km outside the capital city Kampala in Uganda. The starting point of the hub is to establish a school for Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET). It is called the NKB Vocational Centre.
The NKB Vocational Centre is a collaboration between Nobel Knowledge Building, Uganda (NKB) Ltd, Institute of Advanced Leadership, Uganda and NKB Norway (Lucubrate is a part of NKB Norway).
The three organisation entered into a partnership agreement for starting a vocational centre early June 2018. As a result of the partnership, the centre shall be organized as a business. A business that most of all gives good vocational education for young people and gives profits to the involved partners. Therefore, the purposes of the partnership are to engage in the business of Technical Vocational Education and Training.
By running a school as a business, you make it possible for the school to continue after the first grants has been spent and after the donors have left.
A high quality of the TVET
The NKB Vocational Centre in Uganda has an approach to the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) that will lift the quality of the education.
- All education and training shall, as a minimum, follow the Ugandan regulation and standards. Wherever possible, the education and training shall be upgraded towards an international standard.
- All education and training for all programs shall include generic skills as following: English, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship, Business skills, Ethics, Accounting, Budgeting, Health and Safety, Sports, and Computer/Smartphone skills.
- All education and training for all programs shall include; classroom teaching, web-based learning, practical training on the campus, production for sale, and practical training in the relevant industry (apprenticeship – around 50% of the training).
The NKB Vocational Centre will start at small scale and expand gradually. The first step shall include the Technical Vocational Education and Training programs:
- Building industry: Masonry (Bricklayer)
- Agriculture: Cereals, vegetables and fruits/gardening
The project will expand with programs like:
- Electrician (including renewable energy)
- Landscape and environment
- Animal farming
- Fish farming
The Change in Uganda
The education and training sector in Uganda is responsible for developing the skills and knowledge of individuals for work. Consequently, it includes vocational education and training. It is especially relevant that the vocational education and training sector (TVET) encompasses recognised training leading to a qualification under a National Qualifications Framework.
Re-orienting TVET to the needs of the labour market does not mean it will not keep strong ties with the education system. Certificates awarded in the formal TVET system remain educational certificates facilitating progression in the educational system. However, training contents will be aligned with skills requirements in the labour market.
The TVET system is expected to emerge from an educational sub-sector into a comprehensive system of skills development for employment, enhanced productivity and growth. The main purpose will be to create employable skills and competencies relevant to the labour market instead of educational certificates. It will embrace all Ugandans in need of skills, including but not only primary and secondary school leavers.