The Skills Development Facility (SDF) was part of the USD 100 million Uganda Skills Development Project (USDP), which was a Government of Uganda Project funded by the World Bank, implemented by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda. The SDF was aimed at promoting employer-led short term training in order to address prevailing skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda. An important element of the initiative was to facilitate collaboration between training providers and industry to promote demand driven skills development with special attention to innovative modes of training.
The fund was implemented through a Grant Facility mechanism that was co-financed by the private sector through a matching grant contribution, and support-training activities that lead to improved productivity and competitiveness in the formal and informal sectors. “A total of UShs 34.7 Billion had been committed as grants for skilling 46,556 employees, interns and members of companies and organizations as on 31st December 2018 and a total of UShs 13.9 Billion had been disbursed. The facility was a 5-year project that supported short-term employer-led training and recognition of prior learning as well as increased access to internships for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) students.
Under Skills Development Facility Work Based Learning (WBL), students where exposed to practical hands training under the guidance of a supervisor from different host companies. This involves, machine handling, technical ability exposure, career guidance, work ethics, and actual interpersonal relationship and professional exposure among others. Thirty-six Companies (36) where awarded grants to take on one thousand four hundred and seventeen (1417) with some companies based on their success where granted more than once. A total of (366) three hundred and sixty-six where employed in the various companies and others now are self-employed.
Skills Development facility had four funding windows outlined below:
Window One: Aimed at Skills shortages in the formal sector the targeted beneficiaries in this case are Medium and large enterprises the beneficiaries including increased access to internships. Activities in this window included: Practical & Technical training programs- Apprenticeship & internship - Voucher scheme for industries with mobility of workers for those intending to participate in it.
In terms of grant contribution from PFSU, the Ceiling is USD 250,000 covering a range of Up to 80 per cent for (Medium companies), up to 50% for the (Large companies) up to 90% for (Voucher Scheme) and up to 100% (Internship). Our mandate is managed under the four windows:
Window Two: catered for Skills shortages in informal sector MSEs, Jua Khali and the Targeted beaneries in this category are Self-employed, workers and apprentices in the informal (jua khali) sector, master craftsmen, micro and small enterprises and members of cooperatives and associations; - Short and medium-term upgrading practical and Technical training programs-Short basic entrepreneurship, management and IT- Teaching skills for Craftsmen &Staff of association- Training tools. The Ceiling for the funds available is USD 50,000, USD 100,000 for National umbrella organisations, up to 90% Grant contribution However, the 10% contribution of beneficiary can be in kind.
Window Three: targeted beneficiaries includes Innovative training - Public or Private Training institutes, Companies that have independent training wings, while eligible activities in this category includes: Development of learning and assessment materials Curriculum development- Equipment, tools and instruction materials- minor infrastructure development. The Ceiling grant is USD 350,000 covering up to 75% and the 25% contributed by the applicant.
Window Four: focused on recognition of prior learning and targeted beneficiaries’ private sector and industry organisation trade unions, informal sector associations and training institutions.
The intended activities includes selection of test centres for accreditation of assessors of selected trainers and supervisors training of selected trainers development of test materials, development of crucial and learning materials equipment for testing purposes for accredited test centres assistance to further develop their worker’s PAS System. The ceiling grant in this category is USD 300,000 which is up to 90% and the 10% is contributed by the applicant.
Following the conclusion of Component 3 of Uganda Skills Development Project (USDP), Skills Development Facility (SDF), we share the project report highlighting the achievements, lessons, continuity and sustainability elements of SDF. The report summarizes the achievements under the four funding streams (Windows), across six (6) sectors.
Over the last six years, SDF has made tremendous contribution in skilling Uganda’s population for employment and economic development. A total of 885 grants were awarded to small, medium and large companies with total funding of USD 17.8 Million. A total of 82,247 beneficiaries enrolled for the various skills training opportunities, and 73,811 completed their skilling programs in durations ranging from days, weeks to months spanning up to 12 months. The skilled beneficiaries were employed by companies/organisations, started individual or corporate businesses, while others sought further training and certification to enhance their skills.
More than 1600 jobs where created, improvement in productivity and profitability of companies, reduction in production costs, improvement in quality of products and products certification by Uganda National Bureau of Standards, to mention a few. The beneficiaries’ certification by national entities such as Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), or international bodies has not only opened new opportunities and possibilities, but demonstrated the significant reduction in costs for acquiring the certificates.
For more information, click here to download copy of the end of project report.