Skilling the Karamojong

Karamoja, a region with many challenges and opportunities

In Karamoja (Northern Uganda) much of the labor is sourced outside the district as employers experience a shortage of local skilled personnel. Nevertheless, Karamoja has untapped human potential in numerous sectors. The challenges in skill development include that Business, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (BTVET) is not adapted to the demands of the local labor market, nor to the lifestyle of the local population: the Karamojong.

Karamojong girls

The BTC support to Skilling Uganda project, with the support of Irish Aid, wants to raise the quality and quantity of skills development for over 2000 youths in Karamoja through short-term and flexible trainings. What makes the situation unique is that the Karamojong people have a pastoralist background. This means that they raise cattle and move their herds in search of fresh pastures and water. Due to population growth, some Karamojong lack the necessary cattle and need to learn other skills to have a source of income. Hence, the trainings will focus on traditional skills like livestock keeping (to prevent cattle diseases, improve animal nutrition, etc.) and crop production but also on innovative skills such as solar panel maintenance, mobile phone repair, solid waste treatment, etc.

Carpentry class at St Daniel Comboni Vocational Technical Institute in Moroto

Making skills development relevant

To make skills development useful for Karamoja’s local labor market, these trainings will be organized in collaboration with the private sector. Local employers will advise training providers on the labor market needs and let trainees gain practical experience through internships and apprenticeships. The focus lies with Karamoja’s emerging construction market and possible economic developments in the tourism industry (for example: marketing of the unique Karamojong traditions). The goal is to establish work-based learning and to let skills development respond to the needs of Karamoja’s labor market.

BTC's approach

The BTC Support to Skilling Uganda project will do this by launching a Skills Development Fund designed for Karamoja. It allows local training providers and private sector actors to jointly and in a flexible way, organize relevant and qualitative trainings. Secondly, the project will support two selected partner schools in the region: St-Daniel Comboni Polytechnic institute and Nakapiripirit Vocational Institute. These institutes have formulated their own business plans with goals for future sustainable development, and BTC will support them to reach these goals. The needs vary from school to school and can include teacher trainings, management support, infrastructural improvement, etc. The project will also provide a limited support to five other schools in the region.

The goal of BTC's Support to Skilling Uganda project in Karamoja is to allow the Ugandan government to mainstream the reform techniques, adapted to the unique context of the region.

IT class at St-Daniel Comboni Vocational Technical Institute in Moroto

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