Young people’s circumstances should never be used as an excuse for underperforming or for why they are not looking at improving their lives.
That was the opinion of President Yoweri Museveni, who highlighted the importance of grabbing each opportunity with both hands and putting it to good use.
With employment at a record low, President Museveni insists that the teaching of vocational skills is the best chance youths have to be employable while the opening of the ongoing Commonwealth Youth Ministers’ meeting at Speke Resort Munyonyo last evening.
“Yes, you have got a degree in Greek, you have got a degree in all sorts of things but can you go back and study a certificate in metal work or computer science so that you can find what to do in the labour market,” Museveni said at the meeting convened by the commonwealth secretariat brings together youth leaders from Commonwealth countries.
Museveni cited a number of courses in the country’s education system which he said are not relevant to the labour market. He cited qualifications in Conflict Resolution, Women and Gender Studies and Psychology, saying these, could be studied as units in Political Science.
“We should also align our education to changing trends of the labour market,” Museveni added. “We have started a campaign to convert our graduates into employers,” the President advised.
Statistics show that 700,000 people join the job market every year regardless of qualification but only 90,000 get jobs translating to 87 percent of people ready to work but fail to find jobs.
“As a former youth, I cannot overemphasize the importance of this demographic to the future of Africa and the world. I, therefore, challenge today’s youth leaders to identify the fundamental challenges of their time and devote their energies to resolving them.”