Objective: To provide profitable employment for young people who have dropped out of school and lack life skills or a way of making a living.
Young people are involved in a variety of technical and vocational education training:
- life skills training in entrepreneurship
- career guidance
- basic functional adult literacy sessions
Young people are selected by the local community (through existing self-help groups) using agreed criteria. The young people are supported to carry out market research and and choose a trade, and then the selection committee members, together with the young people, identify local artisans who are supported to train the young people for a period of more than three months.
Young people’s parents are also involved in the project by taking the role of monitoring and reporting on progress.
SAO has partnered with a local vocational training institute already providing vocational training qualifications, which has given SAO support in developing the curriculum for the trades chosen by the young people, and has also enabled the young people to take exams and receive formal qualifications in their chosen trade.
Why this programme?
SAO recognised that many young people had dropped out of school and did not have a role in the community, and in some cases were becoming involved in negative behaviours.
In addition to providing employment and income generating opportunities through learning a new trade, the project has a significant psychosocial impact; young people are trained in life skills such as decision-making and relationship building, and gain confidence.
The programme also strengthened the local community’s awareness of and response to the issues faced by young people because they are involved in each stage of the process, from identifying young people to providing the ongoing support and mentoring as they learn and begin to practise their new trade.
Certifying the trainees was important for enabling them to get good work opportunities after the programme, so the partnership with the vocational training institute was crucial.
Initially the project gave a training period of three months but this was not enough to be effective and now the programme lasts at least six months.
“When I was selected from my community to benefit from this programme, I knew my breakthrough had come… Before being trained I was doing casual jobs here and there with nothing to show at the end of the month. This has changed, I now have money at the end of every month and I can ably look after my family.”
Paul, a young person who learned welding as part of the vocational training programme
SAO Uganda partners with Transform Aid International