Written by AARON GAD ORENA
Private Sector Foundation Uganda recently called on the public to enroll for the first window of their Skills Development Facility (SDF), which focuses on offering grants to small and medium enterprises.
This is the third call for Window One, which implores SMEs that meet the criteria set by PSFU to apply for the grants. The purpose of the support is to deal with the shortage of skills in the country.
The initiative, which has been around since October 2016, is funded by the World Bank, and is implemented by the PSFU. So far, SDF has supported 565 organisations, benefitting 56,321 Ugandans and in the process helping to grant 1928 internship placements for students.
The support initially targeted the sectors of agriculture, construction and manufacturing. And in the second year of the project implementation, three additional sectors, namely transport and logistics, information and communication technology (ICT) and tourism and hospitality, were included.
According to Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of PSFU, Window One aims at skills shortages in the formal sector and the targeted beneficiaries in this case are medium and large enterprises.
“For Window One, we are looking at working with industries that are already employing people. So, we are looking at apprenticeships, on the job training and internships. We want to get this student who has been in a vocational training institute and has been employed by an industry to be more of value to their employer,” he said.
He also called upon companies to liaise with PSFU to find out what criterion they have to meet before they apply for the facility.