New programme launched to accelerate growth of green jobs in Uganda

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New programme launched to accelerate growth of green jobs in Uganda
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European and Ugandan partners have launched GreenVET4U, a three-year project aimed at building the capacity of vocational education trainers and professionals in Uganda to support the design and delivery of innovative curricula in skills for green jobs.

Funded by the European Union, the €400,000 initiative was officially launched on Friday at the Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Incubation Centre, Makerere University Business School (MUBS).

The formal launch brought together six organizations from Uganda and the European Union (EU) member states of Spain, Germany and Italy to promote green jobs in the field of vocational education and training (VET).

Addressing journalists, Dr Diana Nandagire, the director at MUBS’ Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Incubation Centre, expressed excitement about the initiative which she said will help in defining green skills through collaborations with different actors.

“So, what we see here is collective action, working together with people with whom we have a shared understanding of where we want our people to be in the future. I like this because, every partner has something to bring to the table so that at the end of the day, we have a wonderful project that we have developed together,” Nandagire said.

She noted that through GreenVET4U, students and young people will be trained in the jobs of the future, the green skills.

“At MUBS, we are very excited to make input in different projects defining green skills in collaborations with different partners, participating in the training of trainers, and ensuring that we are innovative at this,” Nandagire remarked.

Patricia Lamour, the managing director of Aspire Education Group in Germany, expressed commitment to strengthening collaborations with Ugandan partners to build the capacity of vocational education trainers in the country.

“We, Aspire, have been coming here for the last six years, and through that work that we've been doing here, we're investing in building trusted relationships, we came to know Great Lakes Safari, we came to know MUBS and we came to know NCDC, so that when we had this project, we were able to bring together our Ugandan partners so that they can also access resources, information and expertise from Europe,” Lamour said

She underscored the role of brokering proper partnerships in skills building for development not only in Uganda but the whole continent.

“It's not just academia, we have to raise the profile of young people who do not necessarily get academic qualifications, but they develop skills and they develop business because they are the ones who are going to build the country."

On his part, Jesus Boyano, the project coordinator at INFODEF (coordinators of the project), while highlighting the critical need for collaborations to accelerate green skills and jobs, thanked the EU and partners for making the program happen.

“We have said a lot, that the world needs collaboration and it's exactly what it is and it's collaboration because the challenges that we are facing are similar. That's something important to remark,” he said.

He noted that through the three years of the project, they will train VET trainers and professionals, to define helpful solutions in the country and also as a lesson to learn for them in Europe.

Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Irumba, the deputy director for the National Curriculum Development Center (NCDC) said the collaboration of partners from both Uganda and Europe makes the initiative very unique.

“And this project is about building a capacity in the delivery of green jobs in their country. The different partners are coming together to bring together their expertise and experience so that we deliver a good curriculum which can help us to build a capacity for growing jobs for purposes of sustainability in our country,” Irumba said.

He noted that NCDC’s role is to participate and guide the process of the curriculum development for GreenVET jobs, because that is their mandate as the national agency responsible for curriculum development in the country.

Prof Moses Muhwezi, the acting principal of MUBS, said GreenVET4U is a very good project because it encourages green entrepreneurship and environmental sustainability.

“That's what we do. The way we teach entrepreneurship, the curriculum, is to aim at having green jobs.”

He added, “We are bothered about the environment, we are bothered about sustainability, and as entrepreneurs and business, these elements take a greater percentage of activities in the country, in the economy. It's important, they are mindful about sustainability.”

Project Alliance

The project has gathered an alliance of six partner organisations active in the field of VET from Uganda and the EU Member States of Spain, Germany and Italy.

The Ugandan partners include the National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC), Great Lakes Safari and Makerere University Business School (MUBS).  European partners include INFODEF, Spain the project coordinator, CSF Italy and Aspire Education Group Germany.

Expected Outcomes

This project will see an EU-Uganda Community of Practice set up, involving an extensive network of private-public stakeholders.

Furthermore, a virtual collaborative space and innovation lab will be created to support the activity of the Community of Practice.

A tailored Training Programme will be addressed to Ugandan VET practitioners and in-company trainers to upskill their competencies to design sector and job-specific curricula for green jobs.

*Other expected outcomes include;

• An advanced multifunctional Online Platform to support online training provision and management and provide access to information and resources.

• An innovative WebApp solution to support the assessment and validation of learning outcomes in VET and the certification of Micro-credentials.

• Guidelines for Validation, Certification and Accreditation of Skills for Green Jobs through Micro-credentials, a document of reference for VET practitioners, authorities and policymakers to boost the recognition and validation of green skills for green jobs in Uganda through Micro-credentials.

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