BACKGROUND AND INTRODUCTION AND PROBLEM OVERVIEW
The Rwandan secondary Cities like any other country’s secondary cities face a challenge of high rates of unemployment. This is an issue that cuts across social classes, age, sex, and education level. This issue is even worse for youth and women and girls since they mostly lack basic skills and networks that would otherwise be helpful. The Rwanda Youth Employment Assessment Report (January 2009) realized by the Education Development Center (EDC) of USAID showed that unemployment among Rwandans who had only primary education were 61 percent, while for graduates of secondary and higher education at 24 and 6 percent respectively. The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), in its recently published EICV3 results, the unemployment rate was stated at 0.8 percent falling from 1.2 percent in the EICV2. According to unemployment statistics stated above, Rwanda seems not to be having unemployment problem given the fact that majority people are engaged in subsistence farming. However unemployment problem is much felt and vividly seen in the City of Kigali and urban rural where it stands at 13% (EICV3). This underscores the fact that unemployment problem in Rwanda is more rampant in urban areas. Having experienced the good trend of KESC in Job networking between Job seekers and employers now the next step would be the other secondary cities .It is very important here to remind that jobs mediate between the socio-economic and security agenda of any nation. Therefore having youths who are jobless and especially educated youths without jobs is a major recipe for catastrophes and social instabilities. Productivity and youth employment is one of the flagships of 2020. It is therefore an urgent case for Rwanda to put in place a system for addressing the unemployment problem soonest possible so as to realize the 2020 vision. But results don’t happen overnight and just by a single strategy. A multi- prong approach is highly needed and support from various agencies is also important.
With an average of 125 000 individuals joining the labor market every year, a key question facing policy makers in Rwanda and is how best to help unemployed get jobs. Rwandan youth face multiple obstacles to matching quality candidates with top employers for employment. A critical challenge is lack of access to information, knowing the exact number of job seekers, interview training capacities, matching job seekers & employers and access to facilities and communication skills as specific training desired. The government of Rwanda considers this as a hindrance for development, leading to high rates of unemployment.`
The current records shows a good performance in economic growth and development of Rwanda where more than a million of people shifted out of the poverty. Although the majority Rwandan development indicators are green, still, there are some crosscutting challenges to combat. Regardless of social classes, sex, age and education level, the rate of unemployment is increasing especially in urban areas in Rwanda.
The statistical facts showed that there is an increase of employment both in unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled people (EDC, 2009; NISR-EICV3 and EICV2). However unemployment problem is much felt and vividly seen in the urban areas where it stands at 13% (EICV3). This underscores the fact that unemployment problem in Rwanda is more rampant in urban areas.
The Republic of Rwanda has designed policy and employed a considerable effort to combat the issue among others including the establishment of Kigali Employment Service Center (KESC) with a mandate of addressing unemployment problem by linking Jobseekers and Job providers, Provision of advices, information and other feasible facilities that could result into Job finding. The success of the policy necessitates its extending in some secondary cities.
DESCRIPTION AND RATIONALE
The Employment Service Center is a project that serves as One-Stop Career Center for jobseekers seeking to connect to temporary or permanent employment, internships, readiness to work facilities and other pre-employment services. The center will seek to establish a strong bridge between jobseekers and potential employers. The employment service center will target all urban dwellers -men and women, young and old, educated, semi educated, and uneducated especially vulnerable individuals that will need such kinds of services. It is very important here to remind that jobs mediate between the socio-economic and security agenda of any nation. Therefore having youths who are jobless and especially educated youths without jobs is a major recipe for catastrophes and socio-political instabilities. Productivity and youth employment is one of the flagships of 2020. It is therefore an urgent case for Rwanda to put in place a system for addressing the unemployment problem as much as possible to realize the 2020 vision.
Every year, a quit number of fresh graduates join labour market. Rwandan youth face multiple obstacles to matching quality candidates with top employers for employment. A critical challenge is asymmetric information about what and where the job vacant is available. The “Employment Service Center” will be an appropriate response to the above mentioned crosscutting challenge. The center will host the logistic Items, Staff management team, Database storage, Training center and software computer development and internet service.
Thus the “upscaling Employment Service Center” in Secondary cities was thought of as an appropriate response to the above challenges. This could serve as One-Stop Career Center for jobseekers seeking to connect to temporary or permanent employment, internships, readiness to work facilities and other pre-employment services. The center will seek to establish a strong bridge between jobseekers and potential employers (business community, Churches, Universities, the government and local/foreign investors). The employment service center will target all cities dwellers -men and women, young and old, educated, semi educated, and uneducated especially vulnerable individuals that will need such kinds of services. These will include graduates from Higher Institutions of Learning, TVETs graduates. The center is expected to commence during this financial year 2015-16.
Our Theory of change
We believe that success for the future of the Rwandan Secondary Cities depends on enhancing the quality of life and expanding the scope of opportunities for the City population. The centers seek to strengthen communities’ capacities in job seeking competencies, providing career guidance, development services and tips on how to improve their résumés and making sure they present themselves in interviews the best possible way.
The Secondary cities Employment Service Centers’s global objective is to facilitate jobseekers to connect to the labor market opportunities. In the long run, the centers will improve efficiency and effectiveness of the service delivery by providing jobseekers with labor market information. This in turn would shorten jobless spells and increase productivity hence contributing to the realization of vision 2020 and promoting economic growth.
The center will specifically have the functions bellow:-
- Registering of jobseekers and maintaining an updated database of their CVs;
- Keep a database of local and national job vacancies by sector and provide well researched and current job availability information;
- Reaching out and liaising with potential employers for job matching;
- Organize job/career fairs so as to give job seekers a chance to meet potential employers and interact and network;
- Provide guidance to employers on the Rwandan labor market;
- Conduct brief sessions for career guidance and support in application procedures ( cover letter & CV/resume writing, interview preparations;
- Provide Job counseling for individuals with specific needs (the disabled, young mothers, survivors of Genocide…….);
- Offer secretarial facilities( typing, printing, and copying facilities) after orientation to the functions offered by the center;
- Improve employability through knowledge of and access to the local workforce opportunities;
- Develop ongoing relationships with high-growth employers that hire;
- Develop a modern apprenticeship and internship programmes;
- Work with of carrier advisory offices in IHL and TVETs so as to prepare their graduates for potential industrial attachment and networking for job opportunities;
- Maintain job related notice boards at City, District, and Sector offices (job seekers, job seeker profiles, job vacancies available, and other offers e.g. on further training;
- Training and guidance of job scouts (e.g. at HIL) as multiplicators;
- Research on the training opportunities available;
- Advise theDistricton strategies for capacity building (Districts and its sector officials);
- Training of jobseekers on soft skills and industrial behavior;
- Provide orientation to the Rwandan Diaspora community and assisting them to be integrated in the local job market.