By Busiinge George
A total number of 220 students have attained internationally recognized certificates in vocational studies under the Youth Employment Enhancement Project (YEEP) at St Simon Vocational Institute in Hoima.
The training was supported by Skills for Eastern Africa Program (E4D/SOGA), Q-Souring, in partnership with Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and other partners.
Out of the 220, 20 are artisans trained in 3G coded welding certified by American Welding Society, 50 in Welding, Fabrication and Pipework certified by City and Guilds, 30 attained certificates in Electrical Engineering while 120 studied Scaffolding Erection.
Speaking at the ceremony this afternoon, Hajati Safina Musene, the Commissioner Business, Technical and Vocational Education (BTVET), who represented the Ministry Of Energy And Mineral Development Irene Muloni, commended supporting partners in promoting skilling of Ugandans.
Musene added that Uganda is currently among the countries in the world with the highest number of young population of below 30 years. She further added that government is working to put in place legal and policy measures to address unemployment challenge.
Government in 2008 put in place the National Oil and Gas Policy in order to provide legal and regulatory framework to govern the development of the country’s discovered oil and gas resources.
Reverand Fr.Joseph Bigirwa the Director of St .Simon Peters Vocational Training Centre challenged the graduates to remember that skills development is here to stay and therefore they have to strive to develop professionally to international standards.
He said the oil and gas sector will at peak create 160,000 jobs and the biggest number of them will be artisans. According to Honney Malinga of Petroleum Authority Uganda, the country is still facing a challenge of limited skilled personnel to work in the Oil and Gas sector but asked ladies to embrace these courses.
John Steven Ekomu, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner while officiating the graduation ceremony said the 2008 National oil and Gas policy has provided an enabling environment for the development of the sector.