201502.27
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Employment Centers may not help Graduates

Sir, we refer to the article, “Government sets up 5 job centers” that appeared in the New Vision newspaper, Wednesday, February 25 2015. Whereas the idea may be extremely good and indeed should be supported by all, it is also very clear that the jobs are actually not available.

Information from Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) indicate that over 400,000 students graduate from Universities in Uganda on a yearly basis and yet less than 90,000 get absorbed in formal employment in our economy. What happens to the rest? Furthermore, the private sector which should absorb more graduates is not very well organized; worse still is very small and majorly informal. Governments’ earlier efforts to strengthen the private sector to absorb most graduates are yielding minimal results. For instance ad investor is given free land to set up a factory in the hope that this will create jobs for the graduates and ends up employing a handful.

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With all the respect due to the powers that be, the problem at hand is in the thinking of the graduates and how we think about them. To think about Job Centers when we actually do not have jobs is near misleading and diversionary. The success of Government’s efforts in tackling unemployment will not be measured by the number of centers established nor the number of graduates registered therein, but by the number of fresh graduates we shall help to find gainful employment.

Nuha Mwesigwa
Executive Director
Makerere University
Private Sector Forum