The overall objective of “Skills Development for Work Readiness and Youth Employability (SDYE) in the districts of Bugesera, Kayonza and Kicukiro Districts” was not only to assess the overall work readiness of youth who participated in skills development and mentorship programme, but also to inform the formation of youth-inclusive multisector locally driven networks. The aim being that these networks would bring youth empowerment actors in the three districts together for a shared agenda of building the capacity of the youth workforce and mobilising resources for the sustainability of youth programmes at the local levels.
The findings from the research project revealed that there are employment opportunities for university and college graduates, however, many graduates still undermine certain types of jobs. For some graduates, a good job is one that is in located in the capital Kigali, pays a lot of money, provides a car, a nice office, etc. This mind-set remains one of the main challenges limiting some university and college graduates from exploiting available opportunities. Other youths think that unemployment is the results of a mismatch between the quality of education and the requirements of the labour market.
More generally, due to the limited financial means, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes are conducted over a very short period not realistically long enough for youths to qualify for a professional job. The findings also show that the lack of qualified teachers to transfer quality and certified skills to TVET trainees remains a challenge that needs tackling.
Other challenges identified by the research include:
Overall, the findings suggest that 49.7% of youth surveyed were unemployed at the time of the survey and most of them were no longer looking for a job. In fact, out of the unemployed youth, some believe that no suitable work is available (31.3%), others do not know where they can find a job (28.4%), while others reported that it is not easy to find a job (17.9%). The research identified a poor connection between job seekers and potential employers, implying that there are mismatches between the supplied skills and those demanded on the labour market.
Two major outcomes were registered from this research project. These include establishment of the Young Development Network (YDN) in the three districts (Bugesera, Kayonza and Kicukiro) and the upcoming establishment of a model incubation centre for youth to transition to the world of work. The research has also reiterated the need for continuous policy dialogue and synergy among stakeholders with an aim to ensure the provision of adequate skills and job market information to youth that help them transition into the labour market.