Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Samuel Omoit, 28, is a pioneer beneficiary of the skills development program under Support to Skilling Uganda (SSU) in Karamoja.
He received vocational skills at Nakapiripirit Technical Institute in 2016 under Support to Skilling Uganda, which is jointly implemented by government and Enabel, a development partner.
Omoit is the proprietor Emma and Sons Engineering Services Ltd. He is reaping big from his two workshops in Nakapiripirit and Amudat districts, which he setup after the training.
According to Omoit, he earns between Shillings 3 million and 8 million each month from the workshops.
Omoit said despite failing to achieve his dream of becoming an electrical engineer, the workshops have enabled him to work towards his dreams.
Omoit, who dropped out of a training institute in Mbale, due to lack of tuition decided to switch to welding after noticing the huge market in Karamoja. For example, there is only one competitor to his workshop in Nakapiripit town Centre, which allows him enjoy a wide market with little competition.
“I don’t display my doors and window frames. All these are on order,” said the enterprising Omoit in an interview with URN. Our reporter could see several pieces of finished doors, windows and gates aligned at the Nakapiripirit workshop just before Moroto District Offices along Moroto–Nakapiripirit Road. Omoit has graduated to become an employer as well as trainer.
He told URN that he trains at least 30 -40 youths, mostly school dropouts and less privileged each year. “Most of them are orphans. I train them for two months in elementary welding. When they complete training. I retain some of them to work with me”, said Omoit.
Julian Kababeto, a trainee with Emma and Sons Engineering Services Ltd, says she likes her work because it is paying well.
This is just a glint of how skilled and focused youth in Karamoja have become millionaires as well as job creators in the sub region. In total, 2000 youths have passed out with various technical skills from the various institutions across the sub region since 2016.
71 percent of these are employed or self-employed, according to a report by Lawrence Odong, the National Field Manager of Enabel issued on Monday this week. Most graduates, the report says are involved in socio-economic activities ranging from restaurants and outside catering services, construction, unisex salons – some employing 5-10 youths.
Odong says the project can impact at least 10, 000 people in Karamoja, through the income earned by the 2000 skilled youth. According to Odong, the technical training focuses on five relevant areas, which include construction, tourism and hospitality, agri – Enterprise, automotive technology and carpentry meant to accommodate all youth based on their competencies.
He said the trainings targets unemployed, poor and teenage mothers in order to empower them economically through employable and marketable skills in today’s job market.
The principal Nakapiripirit Technical School, Backer Malenge says the training especially in the discipline of agriculture, focuses on providing practical solutions to the current problems using modern farming methods.
Aron Situma, the Moroto Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, says the support by Enabel is timely and is positively changing the attitude of young people in Karamoja from pastoralism to the service industry, which is an important aspect of development.
A total of Shillings 90 billion has been injected in this project, phasing out next year.