The Ugandan Ministry of Information, Communications Technology (ICT) and National Guidance has revealed plans to make it mandatory for ICT graduates to join the Uganda Institute of Information and Communication Technology (UICT) before employment. This move is intended to address the unemployment challenge faced by many graduates who lack relevant skills needed in the job market.
Ms Aminah Zawedde, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of ICT, said the government aims to transform the institute into a center of excellence that will train university and tertiary graduates in ICT skills relevant to the working environment. Similar to the Law Development Centre (LDC), where law graduates enrol to obtain the required knowledge and skills to practice, Ms Zawedde stated that the government plans to make UICT mandatory for ICT graduates seeking employment.
Ms Zawedde who was speaking at the inauguration of the sixth governing council of UICT in Kampala, said the government is committed to digitizing the economy to tackle youth unemployment, and the new initiative aims to ensure that UICT becomes the LDC for the ICT profession. She added that the Ministry has begun to transform UICT into a center of excellence to equip graduates with the necessary skills needed in the workforce.
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“Many times we have a gap between what graduates come out with and what is required on the job, so UICT is going to be that bridging the gap to offer these skills. Some of these courses come as one week course, one months and are short courses certificates and diplomas,” Ms Zawedde noted.
While the initiative is still in the early stages, Ms Zawedde confirmed that it will become mandatory for graduates in the future. She explained that UICT would provide a minimum requirement for certain certificates and diplomas necessary to prepare graduates for the job market.
She urged the new council to work towards achieving the digital agenda and bridging the skills gap between what is required in the workforce and what graduates have to offer.