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Skills Advancement through Community Asset Building

It's universally acknowledge that the best way for people to learn is by doing and in the employment space this means On-job-trainings, Internships/apprenticeships and volunteerism. The opportunities for all the above are far in between. One way to increase these opportunities could be through community asset building opportunities. Youth need to learn and communities have dilapidated assets and various opportunities for innovation and solutions to basic needs problems. This is a training opportunity that will match a low skilled workforce to opportunities and foster innovation and the birth of I believe many promising social enterprises.

Photo of Apiyo Oweka-Laboke
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Other Examples of Community Asset Builing
Youth who have been to Vocational Training institutes and acquired skills in Masonry can practice by building more permanent houses for senior citizens in their villages, or renovating churches and schools and so on.
Engineering students can find solutions in communities that provide safe drinking water or participate in building gazetted wells and protected springs.
A way to put skills learned into practice. This could be done in collaboration with local community and youth leaders. Most Social enterprises in Uganda were born from volunteerism and community development works. Being exposed to a community with needs encourages solutions and innovation.
This I believe will solve the problem of low skilled labor and also encourage innovative solutions that will provide more employment to youth.

Who does this idea benefit, who are the main players and what's in it for them?

The idea will benefit graduates from various institutions of learning more specifically vocational training institutes. Since the idea is based on Community Assets Building, it will also benefit distressed communities providing basic housing, health and sanitation facilities.

How is your idea specifically increasing access to employment opportunities and pathways for young people?

The idea addresses the fact that Vocational Training Institutes in Uganda are increasing the number of low skilled workers. This is because of traditional learning methods that are theoretical and based on cramming and passing exams. Graduates have no practical skills and cannot compete favorably in the employment market. There i a shortage of apprenticeship and internship positions and most skills learned go to waste after some time. Working with local community leaders, a Community Asset Building programme will be designed targeting graduates from Vocational schools who need to advance their skills so as to appeal to employers.

What early, lightweight experiment can you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

I manage a Youth Development programmer that operates a Youth Centre targeting dropouts many of whom have acquired some kind of vocational skill but are not able to practice. Although our focus is mainly on providing soft skills and personal development of the participants, opportunities for them to practice on the job are essential. I could collaborate with the local council leaders to find an opportunity for some of our youth at the Centre to participate in a Community Asset building activity.

The idea emerged from:

  • A group brainstorm

How do you envision your idea being implemented?

  • Keen to prototype it, find partners and pursue implementation

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The Worker’sPAS (“Worker’s Practically Acquired Skills”) is a document that certifies the skills and competences of an individual for a particular occupation.


Join the conversation:

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Congratulations on making it to the Youth Employment Challenge Refinement list, Apiyo. We found this idea particularly interesting because it originated from a group brainstorm and was influenced by your personal experience and observation. We are curious to learn how you would set up an early experiment in one community. Do you have a specific community in mind? Who are the partners who might help you set up an early experiment? You might want to consider reaching out to them and getting their insight into the idea. Are there organizations interested in hiring youth with this skill set? While we found your thinking around targeting young people with specific skills particularly insightful you might also want to look into incorporating an even broader group of youth. Could youth with less specific training be part of less specialized tasks or be 'trained on the job'? Could those with more advanced training gain leadership experience? Are there opportunities for students to temporarily engage during seasonal breaks from schooling? Finally, we are curious to learn if you have ideas on how to secure long-term employment for those participating in this program? We look forward to seeing how this idea continues to develop. Check out more tips for Refinement:

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You can now grab some challenge-specific Refinement tips here: Looking forward to your agile refinement-moves to strengthen your idea for impact!

Photo of Meena Kadri

Hi Apiyo – how's Refinement going? We're looking forward to seeing your answers to our 3 new questions which we added at the start of this phase. You can view them by hitting the Update Entry button and looking above the previous question fields. Looking forward to learning more about your exciting proposal on skills advancement through capacity building!

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