URDT Institute - Courses Offered

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Training facilities: The URDT Institute has a demonstration farm, an IT Centre, Knitting and tailoring Centre, Solar Centre, Metal and Carpentry workshops. URDT also provides linkages to small start-up loans and business management training for young entrepreneurs.The Institute offers an integrated vocational skills training course of 2 years and other short courses to learn a particular trade that leads to immediate employment. Below details on the 5 types of training.

1) Integrated Vocational Skills training

Aim: to deliver all round artisans who can be employed in construction work and other vocations.
Course content: training in carpentry, metal works and mechanics, brick laying and concrete practice, farming as a business, combined with training in humanities, social sciences, business management, entrepreneurship and development studies.
Each course aims to deliver an ‘all-round’ person. Hence the training includes a number of cross cutting subjects like entrepreneurship; visionary leadership (at individual, home and community levels); integrated planning (including environmental and gender concerns) and basic IT and internet skills.
Entrepreneurship. The participants develop an entrepreneurial mind and learn to think about business as a system that has inputs, processes, outputs, profits that lead to renewed inputs etc. Depending on the course offered they learn cost-benefit analysis; preparing quotations for contracts, customer care, business management, workshop safety, and humane labour conditions.
Visionary leadership. The trainees are introduced to the principles of the creative process as a life orientation for sustainable development. They learn how to develop i) a vision (desired situation) for their business /livelihood and home situation and ii) at the same time recognize accurately the realities they are in. Experience has shown that when one realizes the gap between what one wants (vision) and what one has, this generates energy and commitment to learn new skills, effectively plan, mobilize resources and make informed choices on how to meet their aspirations. If these principles are internalized and practiced, visionary leadership emerges. The participating youth are encouraged to mobilize family members and others to work together and apply the same principles. This increases the out-reach of the courses substantially and spread visionary thinking and leadership skills in the wider community.
Integrated planning. The participants are introduced to what they intuitively did but are often not conscious about: integrated planning. In each course they learn systems thinking to address the interconnectedness of sustainable income with health and labour productivity, education, financial self-sufficiency, civic participation, human/gender rights and environmental issues in making choices.
Environmental concerns. The course makes participants more environmentally conscious as the natural environment is dealt with in the course content and course materials. For example, the use of organic farming methods is promoted in the agri-business course. The BCP course teaches students how to produce bricks in an environmentally friendly manner1. The carpentry course discourages the use of hard wood and promotes alternative, fast growing, and commercially planted timber. The starter kits for carpenters and mechanics include locally refurbished, long lasting tools.
IT and internet use. There is no doubt that access to information is key to learning and development. URDT has experienced that youth with a limited education can learn basic IT and internet skills, which will help them to access ideas and information beyond the local environment.
Duration: 2 years. Intake twice a year. For more information: contact us.

2) Short course for direct employable skills

Aim: to facilitate the youth to set up their own business

Course content: students can select their own enterprise e.g: establish a farming business, establish a bakery entreprise, bricklaying and concrete practice, solar electrification and tailoring & garment design.
Duration: 1-3 months or tailor made to your needs

Courses :

i) farming as a business. students learn to shift from extensive to intensive agricultural practices. They learn to grow high value crops that require a relatively small piece of land like onions, tomatoes and passion fruits. They also learn appropriate technologies to attain high yields (like improved seeds, composting, local irrigation system, post-harvest handling) and value addition through food processing. Upon completion, they receive a training manual (in support to teach their home or group members), seeds and a hoe so that they can start their own high value crop business straight away;

ii) cookery. Students learn to make bread, cakes and mandazis. They also learn to make their own oven and receive a starter package to set up a home based bakery;

iii) brick laying and concrete practice (BCP). Students learn to set out foundations of buildings, erect walls and repair shallow wells;

iv) catering. Students learn to work as a waiter in a restaurant or set up of a home based catering business;
v) tailoring and garment design. Students learn to make fast moving items like school uniforms and traditional dresses (busuties);

vi) rural electrification. Students learn to install and repair solar systems, set up a mobile phone charging unit and other related business

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3) Artisan training

Aim: to develop a strong network of artisans in Western Uganda that produce quality products and services

Short courses offered:
i)  train the youth in refurbishing different types of used tools and equipment for fabrication of farm tools and domestic items;
ii) train artisans in group formation and networking and provide tools to artisan youth with the support from Tools for Self Reliance (UK) and Derde Wereld Werkplaats (the Netherlands);
iii) train the youth and trainers to learn to repair sewing and knitting machines.

Duration: 1 week or tailor made

4) Appropriate technologies training

Aim: to equip the youth and women with skills and marketing strategies to develop and distribute rural technologies especially those that deal with climate change.

Course content: Gender and technology, simple irrigation systems, water harvesting solar electricity, fruit solar dryers; food processing and construction of charcoal fridges.

Duration: 2 weeks or tailor made

5) Other courses

The Institute also trains independent local artisans, water technicians, health workers, solar energy technicians and traditional birth attendants in the use and maintenance of rural technologies, business management and other aspects of entrepreneurship.
Results - Surveys show that 45% of the graduates have become successful artisans engaged in building, welding, mechanics, furniture making, food processing, and tailoring.

There are currently 7 groups of welders and mechanics in Kagadi town, 3 groups of tailors, 3 groups involved in carpentry, 2 groups in art crafts and design and 1 group in food processing, 5 secretarial bureaus and 1 CSO thanks to the initiatives of our graduates.
The tool refurbished programme enabled 30 artisans to gain skills in tools refurbishing. Over 600 artisan groups have been trained in entrepreneurship and business management and 3300 artisans from Hoima, Kibaale, Kyenjojo, Kasese and Bundibugyo have accessed tools.

The Institute also trained 68 FAL instructors, 58 community based technicians (of which 25% are women), 80 birth attendants and over 50 solar technicians from various districts.

Over 2000 youth have been trained in employable skills to generate income immediately after they finish their course.