Minister Balaam praises Museveni over jobs

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Minister Balaam praises Museveni over jobs
State minister for youths and children affiars Balaam Barugahare addressing the youths and other guests during a skilling graduation ceremony at the Mengo regional hub in Kayunga on Tuesday. PPU Photo

The Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs, Hon. Balaam Barugahara has lauded President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for fighting unemployment through skilling the youths.

He noted that this initiative has helped to turn the youths into job creators.

According to the minister, all government programs such as the Presidential industrial hubs are designed to help all Ugandans join the money economy, which is part of the National Resistance Movement (NRM)’s transformational agenda.

“With the skills you have acquired, you don’t have to start looking for jobs. Use the skills very well to start your jobs and have income. I encourage you to use the funds sent through the Youth Livelihood program to start something for yourselves,” Hon. Balaam said.

The minister made the remarks today at the graduation ceremony held at Mengo Zonal Presidential Industrial Hub located in Bugerere-Nazigo, Kayunga district.

A total of 462 trainees (2nd and 3rd intakes) drawn from 11 districts in the central region completed their vocational training and were awarded certificates in seven (7) disciplines namely; bakery & confectionery, welding and metal fabrications, Leather processing (shoe-making), tailoring and designing, hairdressing and makeup, building and construction practice as well as carpentry & joinery.

Hon. Balaam pledged to rally fellow ministers in the cabinet to set aside funds that will enable the skilled youths to be given tools as start-up capital.

The Minister for Kampala City and Metropolitan Affairs, Hajjat Minsa Kabanda expressed pride in the skilling program, saying it has offered many youths an opportunity to get employment. She said thousands of the youths have been skilled in Kampala alone for free.

The skilled youths were awarded with a Uganda Vocational Qualifications Level One Certificate by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), which is equivalent to the Uganda Certificate of Education level according to Ms. Safinah Nakyobe, Deputy Director in charge of qualification standards, DIT.

“This certificate is going to help you join the world of work. The products you have made as samples are very good and can be put on the market immediately. Please don’t sit on your skills. I also thank H.E the President for the initiative of skilling because many Ugandans who are not skilled are struggling to make ends meet,” Ms Nakyobe said.

The Director of Presidential Projects and Industrial Hubs, Eng. Raymond Kamugisha thanked President Museveni for having the vision to begin the industrial skilling hubs that are turning uneducated youths into job creators with certificates.

“It has never happened in Uganda that a person who has never gone to school, can come here, learn a skill and graduate in vocational skills and can do something for themselves. A student who has studied and finished senior six, what skills does he have? This is the only way we can change our country. I thank H.E. the President for this initiative,” Eng. Kamugisha said, adding that all skilled graduates will be followed up by the government to check on what they are doing.

He called upon Members of Parliament to support their plans to expand the program where they are planning to set up common user facilities for the skilled youths to continue practising their trades and also market their products.

“We propose to begin with two common user facilities. We hope and pray that you support us when we bring our budget to Parliament,” he told the MPs.

The request was welcomed by the Woman Member of Parliament for Kayunga District, Hon. Idah Erios Nantaba who pledged her support and that of fellow MPs to ensure the program continues to impact many more in society.

“We always appropriate money to buy hospital equipment including beds that cost Shs5 million each, but I have been told, a hospital bed made from here costs only Shs1 million, and they are of good quality. This is why we need to support this program,” Hon. Nantaba said.

In his remarks, Capt. Yunus Ntegeka from the UPDF Engineering Brigade informed the graduates that the force is implementing a directive from the Commander-In-Chief who is also the President of the Republic of Uganda, Gen. Museveni to construct all government projects, adding that the skilled youths from the presidential hubs are going to be their priority while implementing the directive.

“We have projects in almost every district and we are using local content. We employ youths from the villages and pay them accordingly. So, if we can employ others who are not skilled, why can’t we start recruiting our skilled graduates so long as you’re disciplined,” Capt. Ntekega said.

He also called upon the skilled youths in carpentry, building, plumbing, and metal fabrication to register with the Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) because their database will be key in offering employment in the projects undertaken by the UPDF.

Mengo Zonal Industrial hub in Kayunga attracts youths from 11 districts which include among others; Butambala, Kayunga, Mukono, Wakiso, Buikwe, Nakasongola, Gomba, Mpigi and Luwero.

The students who graduated and acquired employment expressed gratitude to President Museveni for skilling them and enabling them to join the money economy.

Among them was Ms. Nnanozi Siama who acquired skills in tailoring.

“Before coming here I had completed primary seven but had nothing to do and my life had been messed up. After 6 months of training, I’m now able to make any garment you can think of. Even the dress I’m wearing I made myself. I thank President Museveni because I can make my own money, something I never thought of,” Nnanozi said.

Another graduate, Mr. Jjumba Ashraf from Butambala said he had studied up to senior six but failed to find something to do for himself because he lacked skills.

“After 6 months of learning welding and fabrication, I’m better off than a person who spent 16 years studying up to senior six with no skill. I’m able to buy anything I want for myself courtesy of President Yoweri Museveni,” Jjumba said.

The ceremony attracted a section of leaders from the NRM and opposition notably the National Unity Platform who commended President Museveni for the non-partisan initiative of skilling all Ugandans to join the money economy. Among them was Mukono District Chairman, Rev. Peter Bakaluba Mukasa who rallied fellow leaders to support the program.

The ceremony was also graced by several dignitaries including State House Staff, Members of Parliament, RDCs, District LC5 Chairpersons, District commercial Officers, Chief Administrative Officers, and NRM District Chairpersons, among others.


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