Kampala : The Ugandan private sector can now have access to a $20 million (Shs78.4b) skills development facility (SDF) to grow their businesses.
SDF is part of the $100 million (Shs360b) Uganda Skills Development Project (USDP) which is a Government of Uganda Project funded by the World Bank, implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU). A total of $80 million (Shs288b) will be managed by the ministry of Education and the $21.8 million (Shs78.4b) allocated to ministry of Finance and will be managed by the PSFU’s SDF.
Ms Ruth Biyinzika Musoke, the head of SDF at PSFU, while talking at the unveiling of the Fund in Kampala on Monday, said the facility aims at improving and narrowing the skills gap the country is experiencing.
“An important element of the initiative is to facilitate collaboration between training providers and industry to promote demand driven skills development with special attention to innovative modes of training,” Ms Musoke said.
SDF facility is a five-year project which is implemented through a grant facility mechanism that will be co-financed by the private sector through a matching grant contribution.
The Facility will initially focus on three sectors including agriculture, construction and manufacturing.
Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director PSFU, explaining why they chose the three sectors first, said: “Under the National Development Plan (NPL), the agricultural sector is a priority which should provide incomes, drive exports, but more importantly provide jobs for our people.”
He said that these sectors have got their value chain extended and can accommodate everyone and they have got the capacity to turn around the country into the middle income status.
The programme is divided into four clusters code-named windows.
Ms Musoke said that window one will cater for skills shortages in the formal sector (medium and large firms), including increased access to internships. The criteria for beneficiaries in this window are required to have been in existence for at least two years, duly registered and operating under the laws of Uganda. Should have the capacity to contribute the matching fund, she added.
The ceiling in this cluster will be $250,000 (Shs900m) of which SDF will contribute up to 80 per cent for the (medium companies) and the applicants will contribute at least 20 per cent.
The large companies in this cluster will get up to 50 per cent from SDF and the other 50 per cent contribution will come from applicant. While SDF will provide up to 90 per cent to voucher scheme and the 10 per cent contribution will come from the applicant. The programme will provide up to 100 per cent support for internship programmes to those companies which will provide this opportunity.
Window two will cater for skill shortages in informal sector such as Medium Small Enterprises (MSEs), Jua Khali – Self-employed, workers and apprentices in the informal (Jua Khali) sector, master craftsmen, micro and small enterprises and members of cooperatives, associations, NGOs, CBOs and trade unions.
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