By Philip Wasswa
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development has lauded interventions under the Green Jobs Programme that are aimed at tackling youth unemployment, addressing the problem of skills mismatch among university graduates and transforming agricultural production.
The Green Jobs Programme was launched by Cabinet in 2016 as a strategic intervention to reduce high levels of unemployment among educated and non-educated youth by promoting workplace re-skilling and skilling, ensuring resource efficiency and social safeguards at all workplaces and enhancing productivity and competitiveness of workers.
The Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development is today finalizing a two-day Social Development Sector Annual Review at the Pearl of Africa Hotel and while giving an assessment of the labour sector, Mr Martin Wandera, the Director Labour, Employment, Occupational Health and Safety (DLEOSH), gave a clean bill of health on the Green Jobs Programme.
“With regards to persons in gainful employment after employment, under the Green Jobs Programme, we supported 2,804 informal businesses with toolkits and equipment. 50 stakeholders were trained in Green Jobs creation, “Mr Wandera said.
Under the Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme (UGVS), a partnership between the government through the Gender Ministry and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Mr Wandera said 206 graduate volunteers have been placed in different host institutions.
“So far we have 206 Graduate volunteers placed (92 first cohort and 114 in the second cohort). However, we have the necessary policy framework to facilitate the rolling out of apprenticeship. We hope that next year, we will have a better report to give,” Mr Wandera said.
The UGVS is a partnership that aims at utilising volunteerism as an avenue for youth’s contribution to the society’s development challenges and a pathway to providing the youth with the soft skills required to be employable or create employment.
Regarding the Songhai Integrated model in Kampirigisa, Mpigi, and Mr Wandera noted that the programme is already reaping the benefits of the intervention which the government hopes will promote and enhance the use of authentic technology for agricultural production.
“For the Songhai Model---we are already enjoying the fruits. There is harvesting and marketing of products from the Songhai demonstration farm. There are 18 fish ponds, over 700 free-range chicken, about 30 pigs and we are constructing a milling plant for the cassava that is produced,” Mr Wandera said.