The Minister of Gender, Labour and Social Development Hon. Betty Amongi has assured refugees in Uganda of the government’s commitment to support them in accessing the labour market.
In the Minister’s speech conveyed by the State Minister for elderly, Hon. Dominic Mafwabi Gidudu at the National Symposium on recognition and equating of refugee qualifications held on 17th March,2022 at Imperial Royal Hotel in Kampala, the Minister said that government is aware of the gaps that still exist in the labour force and participation for the refugees which is largely due to lack of recognition of refugee qualifications, poor transferability of skills and professional experience.
She added that many employers do not recognize or value the academic documents of refugees including their prior learning. However, government is undertaking various interventions to increase access to decent work by strengthening labour Market Information Systems, revitalization of apprenticeship and improving skills.
The Swedish Ambassador to Uganda H.E Dr. Karin Boven said that equating qualifications helps the refugees to participate in all activities including employability labour market and access to other services
The Chief Technical Adviser of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mr. Stephen Opio said that the partnership between ILO and NCHE is aimed at supporting key government frameworks such as facilitating access to education, jobs and livelihoods. He revealed that the partnership has been extended for another one year and this will, among others, focus on digitization of the NCHE equating processes.
Prof. Mary J. N. Okwakol, the Executive Director, NCHE in her remarks noted the challenges that refugees were facing in paying fees for equating their qualifications. However, with support from ILO, NCHE will be able to equate qualifications of over 100 refugees which will enable them to prepare for any job opportunity and also go back for further studies..
She requested the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and all other development partners to support NCHE in fulfilling its mandate especially in the critical areas of scholarships, research, development of minimum standards, development of a policy on recognition of prior learning and capacity building.
She hailed the funders, ILO and Windle International Uganda for standing with the less privileged.