Youth employability cannot be ignored in the search for sustainable development strategies
The URDT Institute was established in 1993 and its aim is to economically empower the youth, by creating a critical mass of all-around male and female entrepreneurs who have integrity and the capacity to improve their own situation, create their own jobs, are responsible citizens and contribute to larger development goals. The Institute trains youth from the age of 14 -25 years.
The Institute offers:
Currently, it offers technical and life skills training on short and long term basis. The long term courses run for 2 years for those who have completed S4, and 1 year for those who join before completing S4. Assessment is done by Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) and Uganda Business and Technical Examinations Board (UBTEB) for all courses.
The following courses are offered on a long term basis: metal works and mechanics, agriculture, building and construction, plumbing, tailoring and knitting, and hairdressing. It offers short term training in bakery and other value-added subjects like the principles of creating, business management, entrepreneurship, value addition, humanities, and social science subjects.
Since 2016, URDT Institute has trained over 120 youth from Rwamwanja Refugee camp in an integrated course for 6 months.
All students make business/work plans and structural tension charts for their next step in their last term of studies at the Institute.
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.
Management and Partnerships
The URDT Institute is headed by a Principle. It has teachers and trainers. Subject matter specialists are hired from the other URDT departments on a part-time basis.
The Institute has good working relationships with the Ministry of Education and Sports, St. Peters' vocational institutes, Uganda Association of Private Vocational Institutions (UGAPRIVI), ETC-the Netherlands, Tools to Work (former Derde Wereld Werkplaats)- the Netherlands, Tools for Self Reliance-UK, PUM-the Netherlands and PRICON-Uganda.
The Institute has established a Service and Training Centre for Sewing and Knitting with the following purposes:
- Refurbish sewing- and knitting machines for sale to artisans, vocational training institutions (VTIIs) and graduates of training courses
- Sales of spare parts and repair services to the above
- Training in tailoring, knitting, and maintenance for youth to gain meaningful employability