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Technical Vocational Education and Training system in Uganda

Technical Vocational Education and Training system in Uganda

With a population of over 39 million, a youth population of 7.9 million (2015*), and a nominal GDP of 700 USD per capita (2017**),  Uganda has a 2.3% unemployment rate among the total labour force, according to World Bank Data.

Uganda’s TVET mission consists in ensuring that individuals and enterprises acquire the skills they need to raise productivity and income. The TVET system is under the authority of the Ministry of Education and Sports (MoES), which is responsible for programme implementation and monitoring, including procedures for planning, budgeting and annual reviews.

The two major sources of TVET funding are the public budget and private households through training fees. The share of TVET in the MoES budget is relatively low, approximately 4% to 7%. Public unit spending is also low by African standards. Training for the informal sector is largely donor-financed.

Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) is Uganda’s apex body for the private sector. It is made up of over 200 business associations, corporate bodies and the major public sector agencies that support private sector growth. Since its founding in 1995, PSFU has served as a focal point for private sector advocacy as well as capacity building and continues to sustain a positive policy dialogue with Government on behalf of the private sector.

Formal TVET system

TVET in Uganda is an overlapping three-tier system comprising:

  • Craftsman level training offered by technical schools and institutes;
  • Technician level training offered by technical colleges; and
  • Graduate Engineer level training offered by universities.

Private TVET providers represent a strong segment of the sector, estimated at more than 1,000 institutions in 2011, representing approximately 81% of all TVET providers.

Non-formal and Informal Systems

The informal sector remains a stronghold of employment, accounting for 58% of non-agricultural employment in 2011. The TVET system has largely neglected the specific training needs of the informal sector. There is no systematic approach to skills development for people already in or seeking to enter the informal sector. Many of the training offers are supply driven, not based on market assessments and only duplicate formal sector training at very low levels. Some very effective programmes cannot be replicated due to lack of information exchange and resources.

Current reforms

In 2010, the Government of Uganda , with support from the World Bank and the Government of Belgium, commissioned a consultant team of national and international experts to conduct a sub-sector study and subsequently form the basis of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 “Skilling Uganda”.

Four main interventions are considered critical for a successful TVET reform:

  • Building a comprehensive Public-Private Partnership (PPP);
  • Ensuring a strong and focused TVET management controlled by all major stakeholders;
  • Defining the requirements of the world of work as the benchmark for all TVET
    programmes and qualifications; and
  • Reforming the system of financing TVET in order to achieve long-term sustainability.


Source: Unesco-Unevoc World TVET Database

* Data Source: Unesco-Unevoc World TVET DatabaseAll statistics compiled from the United Nation’s Population Division’s World Population Prospects, the
2015 Revision (

**Data Source: International Monetary Fund. Retrieved 17 January 2017.

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From the desk of the CEO-February 2018 newsletter address

Sustainable Skills CEO, Nigel Carpenter, with Mary Jo Kakinda and Simon Peter Nangabo, Associate Consultants for the Uganda Project, Kampala, February 2018.

This is our first newsletter of 2018 and we hope you had a great Christmas and a fantastic celebration of the New Year. 2018 promises to be a big year for Sustainable Skills, with a number of strategic projects started in 2017 that we are confident will convert to business opportunities over the course of this year.

In late January, I travelled to Indonesia to visit the Ministry of Manpower’s BBPLK Polytechnic Bekasi, which is currently implementing a revitalisation plan with a strong focus on industry, and we hope Sustainable Skills will have the opportunity to help designing an efficient, industry-led vocational education system. During this trip I held a number of meetings with Indonesian government departments and organisations with the focus on developing TVET to improve skills outcomes and increase job opportunities. Indonesia wants to improve its TVET system. During March I will be visiting the site for a new TVET Centre of Excellence where we have been asked to advise on how the Centre of Excellence can improve TVET outcomes.

Between 5 and 8 February, I travelled to Cape Town to attend Mining Indaba, the World’s Largest Mining Investment Conference and the Largest Mining Event in Africa. For over 20 years, this event collected mining companies, investors and other stakeholders from around the world, and is dedicated to supporting education, career development, sustainable development, and other important causes in Africa.

Mining Indaba presented the opportunity to meet with international key stakeholders including governments, donors, organisations, mining companies, and delegations from Europe, America, Canada, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique, Kenya, Ghana as well as the Intergovernmental Forum.

The second part of my trip to Africa brought me to Kenya to meet with representatives of the Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, which is looking for support to build the capacity of 3000 local workforce.

In Nairobi I had the chance to meet with TVETA and discuss about the opportunity to help Kenya developing a world standard TVET education system based on industry engagement. Sustainable Skills is looking forward to helping the new Mining Institute’s Committee with the objective of developing TVET to ensure locals have the skills industry needs. This followed a meeting with the Director General of TVETA who is revitalising TVET which is based on Australia’s systems and frameworks.

I moved from Kenya to Ethiopia, where the growing population needs jobs and skills. I met with the Ministry of Education and TVET Institute and have helped develop plans to improve the knowledge of teachers and lecturers.
As for a number of countries in the area, Ethiopia’s TVET system is also based on Australia’s.

I took the opportunity of my trip to Africa to meet our Kampala based team of exceptionally-qualified local consultants who are delivering our Due Diligence and Technical Evaluation project for employer-led short term training to address prevailing skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda. We’re working with the Skills Development Facility and Private Sector Foundation Uganda with the project sponsored by the World Bank. Our local team is currently formed by Mary Jo Kakinda and Simon Peter Nangabo and will increase to 3, based in Kampala, within the next few weeks. In the “Meet the Team” section of this newsletter we are proud to introduce Mary Jo Kakinda, Associate Consultant for the project.


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