Uganda: Vocational Training and Tailoring Shop Program
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute: Recruitment Report – September 2016
September 20, 2016
Summary of Activities
Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) was inherited by RMF from the IRC in 2011, after the IRC left Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement. IRC’s departure and the closing of the vocational school created a large gap in skills training, especially for the youth who drop out of school due to failure to meet school dues and other factors. Even with limited funds, RMF reopened Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) with two courses: Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy and Tailoring and Garment Cutting, which were suggested by the community. Also at the community’s request, we later began offering two more courses: Carpentry and Joinery and Bricklaying and Concrete Practice.
Each training session, or intake, runs for a period of three months. After completing their three-month training, students are sent out for one-month internships. After successful completion of the course, students graduate and receive certificates.
After applicants submit their academic documents and/or cover letters to PVTI’s principal, students are selected through an interviewing process. Partners involved in this exercise include: the OPM, UNHCR, RMF, KDLG, PVTI instructors, implementing partners in Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement, and community leaders. Candidates are subjected to oral interviews, and questions are guided by major aspects such as self-expression, English, an understanding of daily life situations, and interest in the area of application.
The interviews were conducted smoothly. There was an increased interest of female students in the male dominated fields of Carpentry and Joinery and Bricklaying and Concrete Practice, and refugees showed an increased interest in vocational studies to improve their livelihood.
In order to reach suitable and interested candidates for the November 2016 – March 2017 intake, a job advertisement was circulated in the community and various public places including youth centers; organizations working in the camp were asked to inform potential candidates; and most importantly, vulnerable children and single women that need self-sustaining, income generating activities were encouraged to apply. The advertisement indicated PVTI’s full physical address and full-time telephone number, which candidates could use to reach the office and deliver their applications.
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy: 6 males, 55 females
- Tailoring and Garment Cutting: 15 males, 84 females
- Carpentry and Joinery: 21 males, 1 female
- Bricklaying and Concrete Practice: 37 males, 3 females
Total Applications: 222
Discipline and Commitment
After receiving all of the applications, criteria for shortlisting potential students were adopted. These entailed the vulnerability of the student, commitment to the applied course of study, discipline from the community as highlighted by community leaders, and a minimum of spoken English. The most important factor in shortlisting was that out of the shortlisted candidates, 70% of students were from the refugee community, and 30% of students were nationals. This is in line with the Re-HOPE strategy of extending services from the refugee community to the host community as well, so that there is mutual benefit of service delivery.
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy: 18 refugees, 17 nationals
- Tailoring and Garment Cutting: 24 refugees, 17 nationals
- Carpentry and Joinery: 15 refugees, 0 nationals
- Bricklaying and Concrete Practice: 17 refugees, 8 nationals
Total Candidates: 121
In order to interview all the candidates in one day, three interviewing panels were created.
The interview questions were confirmed on the same morning that the interviews were conducted, to avoid any cheating and to create transparency throughout the process. These questions aimed to test the confidence of participants in self-expression and English language skills, as well as the social aspects of Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement or the community in which they live.
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy: 25 accepted
- Tailoring and Garment Cutting: 25 accepted
- Carpentry and Joinery: 15 accepted
- Bricklaying and Concrete Practice: 15 accepted
Total Accepted: 80
In April 2011, RMF initiated the Panyadoli Vocational Training Institute (PVTI) at the Kiryandongo Refugee Settlement after being presented by the refugee community with issues surrounding the lack of skills and vocational training for students graduating from the settlement high school.
After researching which skills would provide the quickest earning opportunities and the most efficient economic investment requirements for RMF, we narrowed the programs down to:
- Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy
- Bricklaying and Concrete Practice
- Carpentry and Joinery
- Tailoring and Garment Cutting
- To train the refugees with relevant vocational training skills
- To prepare the refugees for the work world with entrepreneurial skills for both employment and self-employment
- To prepare refugees with basic skills that they shall use for nation building when returning to their home country
- To foster a cycle of improved economic stability and opportunity in the region