The scramble for 60,000 prospective jobs in the Uganda market by nearly 400,000 university graduates has made it more complex even for those already employed.
The statistics indicate that about 15% are absorbed and nearly 73% remain to compete with the cumulated number of graduates from the previous years and subsequent years.
These were remarks made by Mr. Sam Wabasa, the Chief Executive Officer Canaan sites Limited while delivering a keynote address at the 4th Ndejje University Commencement Lecture on October 6, 2017 in Kampala.
He said consequently graduates must make a clear choice whether to be a job seeker or job creator.
The theme of the lecture was, “Employability skills for success in the job market”
“In a country where 50% are below the age of 20 makes matters more complex even for those on job. To ensure that you have a fair chance to enter the job market and survive, what you have learnt at the university must quickly be translated as solutions to the employers.
“Your skills must be seen as opportunities to solve real practical problems experienced by employers,” the CEO said.
He pointed out some of the tasks of being employable which hinge on capability to demonstrate skills, competence, character, proactivity, emotional reserve, conceptional thinking, understanding others, logical and forward thinking.
Mr. Wabasa decried the struggle linking the graduates desire for a job with the challenges the employers face and excuses by graduates of lack of capital to start up their own businesses.
“Professionally speaking life gives you what you deserve not what you want. Graduates during interviews ask for monthly pay of 3m/- but cannot show why they deserve such a pay. That’s what employers often face.
“What distinguishes you from the crowd is that capacity to put pay after service offering and gain the commitment and acceptance of others in delivery of tasks at work,” he advised.
He described the usual excuse of lack of capital as a lame one which meant that “capital” derived from Latin to mean head is not on your shoulders.
“This means your head is not on your shoulders to generate or demonstrate the other forms of capital that build on what you have already like educational capital, relational capital and reputational capital. Financial capital comes last and not first as commonly sought after
“Resources tend to follow opportunity and yet many graduates keep following opportunity. Start by demonstrating the sequenced forms of capital instead of joining the queue of resources searching for opportunity, Mr. Wabasa told the graduands.
Ndejje University Chancellor, Prof. EriabuLugujjo hailed the graduands for completing their respective courses and attributed the academic success to God’s grace.
A total of 78 graduands who attained First Class degrees and diplomas in various courses were awarded certificates of recognition at the function.
“God needs us to be used as instruments of change and impact on the social economic aspect of our country. I am very proud that you have gone through a chartered moral upright institution that does not only provide education per-se but moulds individuals holistically.
“There are very few institutions of this nature that nurtures individuals through role modelling, acquiring several soft skills including the art of listening, perseverance, work ethics, commitment, tolerance, team work, empathy, sacrifice, humanism and above all, God fearing. Armed with these, you will go into the world with confidence and be a contributor to the change you want to see,” the Vice Chancellor said.
He however cautioned the graduands about the challenging world and its many changing variables.
“Your education and character should situate you in an equilibrium position so that the hurricane of the uncertainty does not sweep you off the life’s journey. You are burning candle entering into a darkness hence you should shine brighter and do not let the candle burn out. Do not join the corrupt, the evil doers, rampant murders in our midst,” Prof. Lugujjo said.
He welcomed the graduands into the club of alumnus of Ndejje University boasting of a number of national and international accolades which include among others, the only private university that offers a wide spectrum of science and engineering programmes.