A total of 80 youth (36 males, 44 females) have graduated from the Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme following completion of their one-year work placement in various state and non-state institutions including Public and Private institutions, Civil Society Organizations and United Nations Agencies.
A total of 97 youth (48 males, 49 females) were recruited in 2018 and placed in various host institutions as the first cohort of the Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme. Out of the 97 pioneer young graduates, 80 completed their work placement and graduated on 28th November 2019. On the other hand, 8 took on employment during their work placement period, 3 were discontinued for noncompliance to host institution policies while 6 are expected to complete between January and February 2020.
Out of the 80 that graduated, 12 have been retained and offered jobs by their host institutions.
The Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme (UGVS) is an initiative of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development. The initiative seeks to enhance young graduate’s employability and bridge their transition to work while strengthening the capacity of national institutions, public and private organizations to mainstream and create employment for the youth.
Don’t despise jobs
Speaking during the pass out ceremony of the first cohort of the Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme held at Skyz Hotel in Naguru, Hon. Janat Mukwaya, the Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development challenged the youth to be more innovative, trustworthy and flexible and not to despise humble beginnings and ignore jobs in rural areas. She also called for more exposure opportunities for young people as a springboard for self-discovery and connections.
On her part, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, the UNDP Resident Representative for Uganda urged the youth to be dynamic and acquire as many skills as possible to be competitive and relevant in the job market, “The job skills that were needed 10-years ago are quite different from the ones needed now and they will be drastically different from the skills-set that will be needed in the coming year.”
“While having a degree, a diploma and certificate are important, what is more important is the skills and the right mindset. The degree syndrome should not blind parents and students from acquiring the business, technical and vocational skills that enhance one’s employability and preparedness for the job market in the digital led 4th industrial revolution.”
Speaking on behalf of host institutions, Ms. Deborah Maitum, the People and Culture Director of World Vision Uganda challenged organizations to review their policies to institutionalize volunteerism and placements for young graduates.
On their part, the young graduates commended the Uganda Graduate Volunteer Scheme for the many opportunities it presented to them.
This Scheme, the first of its kind in Uganda, has since provided access to work spaces, employability and enterprise development skills to 206 youth while leveraging volunteerism as an essential mechanism for skills development.
The scheme is part of measures addressing the unemployment challenge especially among youth which presently stands at 13.3 percent. Uganda has one of the fastest-growing and youngest populations in the world, with approximately 78 percent of the population below 30 years of age. According to Uganda National Household Survey 2016/17 report, youth unemployment rose from 12.7 percent in 2012/13 to 13.3 percent in 2016/17 with female youth unemployment higher (at 14.7 percent) than that of male youth (11.4 percent).