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Large Majority of Employed Rwandans Unhappy with their Jobs

by Denyse Tuyishime
11:19 pm

Olivier Rwamukwaya(right) Education State Minister explains new approach to job creation. Next to him, Labor Minister Judith Uwizeye listens

Government says it is reviewing the education curriculum to deal with concerns raised by a major study on the country’s labour market.

Only 10 % of employed Rwandans said they were happy and satisfied with their job, according to findings in the Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey (EICV4). And as for the rest 90% – well, working their current jobs was not worth it.

Officials at a press conference where the findings were released said they imply that available jobs do not fit the academic background of a big number of people on the labor market.

For Public Service Minister Judith Uwizeye, the negative perception about jobs is born from over rated desires among job seekers.

“Rwandans need to learn to start small…as the country develops more white-collar jobs will be available,” said Uwizeye.

“I also think it is preferable to eat little food rather than sleeping on an empty stomach.”

However, the study also found that the national unemployment rate remained fixed at 2%. It is highly noticeable in urban areas (8.7%).

Researchers also found that unemployment was more prevalent among youths – especially fresh university graduates, than adults.

To sort out the current unemployment debacle, education officials said a curriculum review is underway to integrate courses into schools that will try to solve the labor market needs. Employers have repeatedly complained that fresh graduates are coming with less or no practical skills.

“We will put emphasise on more practical courses than theory at higher learning centres,” said Olivier Rwamukwaya, the Education Minister of State in charge of Technical and Vocational Education.

A reformed study program will introduce areas such as mining, hospitality, catering, manufacturing, transport and communication, construction, wholesale and retail trade.

Several years ago, government vowed to create at least 200,000 off-farm jobs annually. To get there, multi-billion programs have been put in place to raise the much-needed skill levels.

Among them is the World Bank-funded National Employment Program (NEP) unveiled two years ago. There has also been a steady flow of investments and industries emerging that are creating hundreds of jobs.

But data released to the media today shows a deficit of more than 300,000 jobs in the past two years. Just about 80,600 jobs were created.

Under pressure to act, line agencies concerned with employment have previously come up with the “HANGA UMURIMO” campaign.

A new campaign “KORA WIGIRE” was announced today-that will sensitize youth, women, veterans and people with disabilities to take up vocational courses.

A national campaign was launched this week- to run up to November 21, 2016, under the theme “Job creation, a way to dignity” (TWITEZE IMBERE, DUHANGA UMURIMO).

During the campaign, government will award agencies and private sector companies that facilitated the implementation of its employment program.

There will also be a graduation for 11,000 trainees from different sectors who have trained under the NEP project.

Under NEP, the government through the Workforce Development Agency (WDA) subsidizes private companies by covering their costs for training their employees and selected job seekers with the skills the particular company needs. In return, the involved company commits to hire some of the trainees.

Kigali Today Ltd, the parent company of KT Radio 96.7FM, KT Press and kigalitoday.com has been a major stakeholder to the NEP project.

Since January, up to 108 trainees have benefited including; 31 radio technicians and 77 photojournalists. The trainees came from within Kigali Today Ltd and other private media.