African Rural University (ARU) hosted the UNESCO Chair dialogue on youth and work opportunities. The dialogue was organized by the UNESCO Chair Life Long Learning Programme under the them “Young people and work opportunities. It took place on May 24, 2019 at ARU main campus in western Uganda.
In his remarks, Prof.Jacques Zeelen, Professor of Lifelong Learning and Social Intervention in the Context of Globalisation at the Faculty of Arts, University of Groningen. from said that UNESCO Chair’s aim is to improve vocational education to enhance the skills of students. “we want to look at diversity of things so that students are not only academically upright but also well equipped with the skills needed to sustain themselves. We need to stimulate diversity.
He also said that the idea of people saying that there are no jobs in Uganda is not correct, saying that there are a lot of work and opportunities out there. “when we talk about work, we have to think about how to connect value addition and the market”. He added that there are enormous opportunities for work which are missed by the youth because they don’t have the right skills that match the needs of employers.
He therefore called upon participants to reflect on the work opportunities available for youth in Kagadi district, the challenges they are facing and how to improve employability skills of the youth.
Focus group discussions were organized and reflected on the following questions and presentations were made by the respective groups
- What do you understand by lifelong learning? Is the concept lifelong learning useful for you in the context of the work opportunity in your community?
- How can the learning institutions help the youths to tap on the existing work opportunities?
- What do you understand by decent work? How can the youth themselves tap on the existing work opportunities?
- What do you perceive as good employment?
- In the context of decent work and economic growth, how can the youth’s unemployment be addressed?
The ARU Vice Chancellor Mwalimu Musheshe (PhD) called said that there should be a paradigm shift in the design of the curriculum from a reactive kind of curriculum to the one that encourages youth to create, innovate and invent. He added that the youth should have a mindset change about work especially moving away from looking for white collar jobs to looking for work.