Parliament has passed a motion granting leave of the House to Bunya East MP James Waira Kyewalabye Majegere to introduce a Bill for an Act of Parliament to cater for out of school graduates from institutions of higher learning.
The Private Member’s Motion seconded by Luuka North MP John Bagoole and the Western Youth Member of Parliament Mwine Mpaka seeks to establish a National service graduate scheme through which social service will be integrated with the education process.
Presenting his motion on the floor of parliament Tuesday, Majegere noted that under the new law, the government and the private sector will be compelled to give fresh graduates a chance to gain some experience by rotating them in various departments for a year.
“Under the graduate scheme, the graduates shall be paid a stipend allowance in order to facilitate their service for a period of one year and it will help inculcate social welfare and social responsibility into them,” said Majegere.
Majegere noted that the bill is geared towards supporting young people to access employment opportunities and to help mainstream them into the economy and development.
He explained that the scheme will provide training and development opportunities to graduates as they start their career.
Majegere lamented the marginalization of youths’ graduates from both the formal and informal sector which he said had resulted into high levels of poverty in the country that need to be curbed.
He added that the bill would act as an avenue for mentorship through the establishment of a graduate scheme.
The chairperson of the National Youth Council Lilian Aber who was part of a group of youths leaders mostly graduates in the public gallery to witness the debate, welcomed the motion saying it is one of the ways of fighting unemployment which she says has reached alarming levels in the country.
“This is a good bill that will enable graduates get experience. Our education system is highly theoretical and graduates join the sector with little or no skills at all. Searching for jobs almost becomes another course of study and yet at the end, they are required to have experience before being offered employment”, said Aber.
Statistics from Uganda Bureau of statistics in 2009 estimated that over 83% youths are unemployed. Uganda’s universities and tertiary institutions, UBOS notes, churn out an estimated 400,000 graduates annually out of which only 90,000 youth can be absorbed in the labour market annually creating a deficit of 310,000 jobs.