Stellah Nakibuuka, Communications Officer, Electricity Regulatory Authority It takes a young Ugandan averagely 24 months from the time they complete or drop out of school to when they land their first stable job. This is according to a Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS, 2016) survey on the School-to-Work transition.
A lucky few youth, though, get placements in organisations before they even leave school, thus saving them the worry of employment prospects, and boosting their self-confidence.
In 2016, the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) introduced a Graduate Trainee Programme to develop talent for Uganda’s Electricity Supply Industry (ESI). “The programme is meant to grow the Electricity Supply Industry’s human resource. It will continue until we have enough trained, professional staff working in the sector,” ERA’s Director of Corporate and Consumer Affairs.
Through the programme, the licensees take graduates of Electrical Engineering, Finance, Information and Communication Technology, though the majority are from engineering backgrounds because the sector needs more engineers than any other professional.
To start the programme, ERA approved Shs 980 Million in 2017 of which Shs 392 Million was for power distributor Umeme, Shs 368 Million for the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, Shs 122 Million for Eskom Uganda Limited – the Company that operates and maintains the Nalubaale and Kiira Hydro Power Stations and, Shs 49 Million for Bujagali Energy Limited and Shs 49 Million for Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited.
Close to Shs 3 Billion has so far gone into the programme during the last three years. To put the money in perspective, the government shells out about Shs 6 Billion annually on the Higher Education Loans Scheme.
There are benefits.
During an interview for the Umeme Power Transforming Uganda magazine, the utility’s Managing Director, Selestino Babungi, said, “Due to this deliberate policy, the technical capacity of the engineering department has drastically improved.”
Mr. Babungi said then that Umeme recruits 20 graduate trainees from universities each year, trains them for three years after which it commissions them.
While this Website could not immediately establish the total number of students the entire ESI enrolled under programme, what is clear is that Umeme enrolled upwards of 60 graduates between 2017 and 2020.
Relatedly, the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited has engaged at least 10 graduates while Bujagali Energy has trained and absorbed six.According to Eskom Uganda’s 2021 Tariff Application, Eskom has contributed to skills development support to the electricity sector with a compliment of 17 graduates in training.Thus, […]