Employers say they will require 110,712 new workers in 2019, according to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS’) latest manpower survey.
Forty-eight per cent of the vacancies will be in the education sector, 23 per cent in administrative and support services and 6.5 per cent in manufacturing.
Positions in trade and repair will account for six per cent, human health and social work three per cent, accommodation and food service four per cent and four per cent in public administration.
‘Other sectors’ will take the balance.
Out of the 110,712, the majority – 95,212 (86 per cent) – will be in the private sector and the rest in the public sector.
In terms of education, those angling for careers in banking, insurance, professional services and public administration will require, at the minimum, a bachelor’s degree.
And whoever will be looking for an administrative position will stand a better chance if he or she has a master’s degree.
A certificate will be the most appropriate qualification in the accommodation and food, human health and social work sectors.
According to the survey, the skills required will range from managerial, technical, entrepreneurial, language, customer care, creativity, Information Technology (IT) teaching, communication and others.
Technical skills will be the most sought after – at 31 per cent, followed by managerial skills (13 per cent), and communication skills (12 per cent).
Customer care skills, which will be the most required in the accommodation and food service industry as well as the entertainment and recreation sector at nine per cent, teaching six per cent, IT five per cent, entrepreneurial three per cent and language two per cent and ‘others’ 16 per cent.
Those interested in the jobs and have the qualifications will have to look out for advertisements in the press, organisations’ websites, find out from recruitment agencies and consult friends and relatives who can tip them about internal adverts.
Those in training institutions could go for industrial training/internship in some cases is extended as contract employment.
The job seekers could also check out the noticeboards of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).
UBOS carried out the survey from January 2016 to June 2017, and spoke to MDAs as well as to formal private organisations.
Excluded were political institutions and the armed forces.
The overall goal of the study was to generate the current and potential size of Uganda’s workforce and to characterise and generate information on the current and potential employment levels for skilled and trained manpower in Uganda.
During the study, UBOS staff asked employers: one, what new jobs will be available at this organisation in future?
Some employers, however, did not state their future manpower requirements.
Two, how many such employees will be required for this job in 2019? Three, what is the minimum education required?
Mr Gideon Badagawa, the executive director of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) – which engages in positive policy dialogue with Government on behalf of the private sector, said the manpower requirements are worth celebrating.
“110,000 is a good statistic; it shows the private sector is growing. We are going to celebrate that,” Mr Badagawa said on Friday when the Daily Monitor contacted him for comment on the manpower requirements.
“The downside is who is going to fill those positions? Do we have the people with the skills or are we going to get those people from elsewhere? The first thing to do is to skill people [for them] to be able to perform the tasks.”
Still on the survey, the Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE’s) executive director, Douglas Opio, said employers’ participation in manpower surveys has been improving.
“Participation in the previous one was not good. The big employers who participated in the latest survey could have skewed the statistics. It could be that the economy has grown,” Mr Opio said.
He added that given the number of persons graduating from Uganda’s tertiary institutions, a lot more should be done to create opportunities for graduates.
“Right now, a small portion of our population is comprised of university graduates. But among these few graduates, unemployment is high,” Mr Opio said.
He urged those on the lookout for jobs to network or work on the social skills to be tipped about opportunities in the different workplaces.
“If you concentrate on looking for a job through newspapers, you might not get it because there are many people also searching for the same job,” he said.
According to the survey, 93,740 students graduated from tertiary institutions in 2013, 103,530 in 2014 and 130, 400 in 2015.
Mr Opio said unemployment among those with education qualifications lower than of degree and master’s is lower.
On that, UBOS figures are instructive.
Forty-three (43) per cent of the 12,687 jobs advertised in the New Vision and Daily Monitor newspapers in 2015 sought for diploma holders while thirty-four (34) per cent required a bachelor’s, 12 per cent a certificate and four per cent a master’s.
As of 2012/2013, overall unemployment rate was 9.4 per cent, which UBOS said was expected ‘due to the agrarian nature of Uganda’s economy’.
The population outside formal labour force is forced to engage in some kind of work even for a few hours and at low wages especially in the informal sector.
At the time of the survey, there were 50,100 vacant, permanent positions.
Two-thirds of the vacancies were a result of expansion while eight per cent were due to staff exits.
48 per cent of the establishments surveyed said many of the unfilled permanent positions remained unfilled for long because the establishments’ budgets could not allow recruitment while for 28 per cent, it was due to lengthy internal bureaucracy and eight per cent for lack of qualified personnel, seven per cent due to low economic activity.
Read More: Daily Monitor