At 6pm trainees of the Building and Construction training at
Buhimba Technical College in Hoima are still rehearsing their brick-laying
skills. “We keep practicing because we
all want to succeed our exam.”, says Claire Murungi, one of the 30 trainees
subsidized by the Skills Development Fund (SDF) of BTC’s Support to Skilling
Claire is the only girl in her community to pursue a career in construction. “I feel proud to take this class. I want to show that girls can also build.” Her fellow student, Michael Barongo, agrees that the collaboration between the 20 boys and 10 girls in the training is going well. “Girls are capable to do jobs that are done by men.”, he adds. Michael enrolled in the training after hearing about it on the local radio. “I admired builders. Especially after I worked as a porter at a construction site.”
The SDF-subsidized Building and Construction training takes 6 months in total, including one month of industrial placement at a private company. Entrepreneurship classes are part of the program, and aim at motivating trainees to start their own businesses. Michael is already on board: “After the training I want to start a small company with my fellow students and employ people from my community.“
Classes are given by Daniel Esong, an engineer with 8 years of experience at multiple international construction companies. “My work here is to demonstrate building techniques and to assist students during practice. I also inform them on safety in the workplace and on HIV-awareness. I try to guide and council them.” He adds that the Skills development allowed the Buhimba College to provide safety gear for the trainees (such as overalls, helmet and gumboots) as well as working equipment (such as trowels and spirit levels). To upskill him with modern drawing techniques, he received an architectural design training on the ArchiCad modeling software.
The Skills Development Fund in Albertine-Rwenzori aims at sustainably improving the quality of technical and vocational trainings through public-private partnerships, in order to enhance the youth’s employability.