Rwanda TVET Board (RTB) has signed a Rwf5.7 billion agreement with the European Union (EU) to produce a qualified labour force in the country’s tourism and hospitality sector.
This will be undertaken under the project dubbed “Ubukerarugendo Imbere” launched on Wednesday, September 29 and it is expected to run for four years.
The Director-General of RTB, Paul Mukunzi said that Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is the most effective way in creating jobs to fight poverty in the Rwandan communities calling for collective effort to achieve the goal.
He said that this project was being launched at an opportune time, as TVET keeps on improving in terms of quality of training delivery and increasing support of the private sector.
He elaborated that the country is becoming a tourism attraction and a hub for international conferences and different activities which require a qualified labour force.
“The tourism and hospitality sectors present huge business opportunities and we need to be ready to improve our service delivery and customer to maximise the benefits,” he said
The beneficiaries of the new project include students, trainers, school managers, public and private TVET schools involved in the tourism and hospitality sector.
“We will be working closely with Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) alongside private sectors, tour guides, hotels, restaurants and the whole TVET eco-system in Rwanda,” he said.
The project is designed to support seven TVET schools in the Value chain of skills development and Capacity building for 15 school managers as a minimum plus four IPRCs.
“The aim is to engage the private sector in skills development and we are targeting to have a minimum of a long-lasting 14 MoUs signed with companies operating in Rwanda,” he said.
Ambassador Nicola Bellomo, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Rwanda said that this project is another demonstration of how the EU supports Rwandan youth – to acquire skills and find jobs – and the private sector, to improve its hospitality offer and make its tourism products more attractive.
“The project will work holistically with business, TVET providers and graduates in order to strengthen the sector, which – as we all know – faces particular challenges due to the pandemic,” he said
He added that investing in young people and upgrading the training offer will contribute to more productive businesses, and an even more unforgettable experience for tourists in Rwanda citing an example of how Visit Rwanda is a booming and successful brand.
Beneficiaries speak out
Different TVET students who are pursuing hospitality and tourism courses, as well as the private sector, have welcomed this project describing it as a bigger opportunity for their careers.
Emmanuella Niyigena, a student at Gacuriro TVET School pursuing hotel operation said that this is a good opportunity because it is going to link them up with players in the private sector for skills development and job opportunities through on-job training.
“This will help us become more professional and competitive in the labour market,” she said.
Another beneficiary, Emmanuel Mugisha, who is in his third year in culinary arts reiterated that with this project he is expecting more opportunities in the future in terms of capacity building as well as a job opportunity.
Peace Mutoni, a tour guide at Ask for Adventure, commended the support saying that this project will not only help the students but also them as private sectors to help the students to get more experience before even joining the labour market.
Between 40,000 and 45,000 students in TVET schools graduate in Rwanda every year.