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The real estate and construction industry has been boosted following the graduation of the second cohort of 32 duo-trained students specialised in masonry, painting and tiling (roofing) at Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre East (IPRC-East) in Ngoma District.
Duo training is where students study 50 per cent in class and another 50 per cent in field acquiring hands-on skills. The approach is still new in Rwanda’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) programmes and is expected to help bridge the skills gap in the construction industry.
Aphoridis Nambaje, the Ngoma District mayor, said the training is intended to support the government’s programmes by bringing to the job market skilled personnel and supporting entrepreneurship and job-creation initiatives.
“Duo training ensures that students acquire the requisite skills before they are released into the job market. This makes them more competitive as they are able to start work without extra training, thanks to the class-based training and hands-on skills,” said Nambaje said at the event.
Eng. Rita Clemence Mutabazi, the deputy principal at IPRC-East, urged the private sector to support the programme, saying the institute cannot afford to fund it alone because it requires costly training equipment.
“We hope private sector and the association of constructors will continue to support this kind of training because it’s more effective as it produces people with hands-on skills required in the market,” she said.
The don said the private sector and the association of constructors had pledged to work with TVET schools to implement the duo training system.
The training programme is being sponsored by Germany-based Chamber of Skilled Crafts Koblenz under a joint vocational training project with Workforce Development Authority, Private Sector Federation, the association of constructors, the National Capacity Building Secretariat, and Construction Sector Skills Council.
German-Koblenz project manager in Rwanda Matti Tomingas challenged the fresh grandautes to use the skills acquired from the training for job-creation and to start ventures that contribute to individual and national development.
Clementine Uwamahoro, one of the four female grandautes who did a course in painting, said the programme is unique as it enabled her to acquire practical skills and also interact with potential employers during field studies. She encouraged female students and youth in general to embrace TVET, saying it promotes entrepreneurship and job-creation.