Better job opportunities for youths in Uganda

With support from ICEP, Cowa VTC has rebuilt the welder training – with success.

Vocational training with employment perspectives

IIn 2016, Cowa VTC started welder training in a new way: in addition to the 18-month training in the vocational training center, a 6-month internship was also provided. John Koeber was one of 7 graduates in 2017 – and today he is happy to have a well-paid, steady job at the age of 22. After the internship the company Jagdev offered him an employment contract.


Successful reorientation of training at Cowa VTC

In light of the good development of the construction industry in Uganda, good welders are in demand. The new two-year welder training is a result of Cowa VTC’s collaboration with ICEP. Since early 2015, as part of the SWEAR program co-funded by the Austrian Development Agency, ICEP has been supporting the VTC in Kampala, along with 7 other vocational training centers in Kenya and Uganda, to revise its training curriculum and provide training that is in line with market demand.

In 2017, 31 young people started training in welding, in 2018 a next session of similar size will follow. Also every year, new companies, where young people can complete an internship, join the program. Many young people are then hired by these companies. So the realignment of the welder training is already a success.

In addition to the 2-year welding course, Cowa VTC also offers a 5-month course for nearly 100 young people working in the informal sector, the so-called Jua Kali sector. The additional qualification should help them to find better paid jobs in the construction sector. Apart from welding, Cowa VTC currently trains 27 agronomists and 21 carpenters – all with good job prospects.

The 2-year welding course at Cowa VTC


Percentage of graduates with permanent employment

Youths who are being trained in 2018


Training time spent at companies

Companies that started cooperating in 2017


Since 1999, ICEP has been working in the field of vocational training in East Africa. As part of the SWEAR program, co-financed by the Austrian Development Agency, ICEP has been supporting eight vocational training centers in Nairobi and Kampala since the beginning of 2015 to revise their training provision and offer training courses in line with market demand.

The program includes improvements to didactic and educational structures, the integration of life skills into the curriculum and the expansion of cooperation with companies and public administrators. ICEP is committed to the exchange of know-how between training centers in order to secure high quality vocational training in the project region for the long term.

As part of SWEAR, Cowa VTC has successfully tailored its training programs to the needs of the private sector – the only way to provide youths with real job perspectives. Chrispine Wanya, who has been leading Cowa VTC since 2015, underlines how much her work has benefited from the exchange of know-how with other training centers. Without networking with the other ICEP partners, she would not have been able to access the business sector. “There are always other companies that want to cooperate with us in vocational training. This would not be possible without SWEAR.”

SWEAR helped us to focus on the institutional development plan. We were pushed to write clearly the mission and the vision. We also did a market survey, which helped us to redesign courses. We learned from entrepreneurs and plant managers that soft skills are missing.

Guiseppe Valerio

Advisor, St. Kizito Kenya

One of our teachers has been to Nairobi three times. She was able to show us what she has learnt. ICEP has also always emphasised the collaboration with enterprises and they keep spreading the gospel, so I know in future we will have even more collaboration with the private sector.

Guinqo Hilaire

Principal, SYC Uganda

The SWEAR project brings together various institutions, which work in the same field and have the same goals for our beneficiaries. We make visits of other vocational training centers and exchange experiences and learn from each other. For me that’s the big win with SWEAR.

Austine Omeno

Principal, ECT Kenya

Partner for development

ICEP works in developing countries in close cooperation with organizations that are rooted in the respective region. In the case of the SWEAR program, ICEP has formed a network of 8 training centres in Uganda and Kenya, which it supports individually and as a network.

When selecting partners, ICEP always follows two criteria: trustworthiness and professionalism. Both are equally important for ICEP. Every collaboration is based on trust. But good intentions alone are not enough. All 8 SWEAR partners not only have a vision for a better future, a real commitment and a sense of responsibility, but also the organizational prerequisites and the technical know-how to sustainably promote vocational training.


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Peter, Elektriker

ICEP and ocupational training

ICEP provides youths in developing countries with better opportunities for employment and income through vocational training.

Orientating training along market demand

This is mainly about strengthening the capacities of vocational training centres, orienting the training they provide on market demand and improving the cooperation with companies and the public sector. The integration of international companies into local vocational education and training systems is a particularly effective lever for ICEP to achieve more and better employment in a region.

Training for men and women in the informal sector

A second objective of the work of ICEP is to provide affordable qualification services for men and women who need to secure their livelihoods in the informal sector, which is usually dominant in developing countries.

One of the difficulties of many vocational training centres in developing countries is that graduates often have only very poor perspectives for employment after training. Partly because there are only few positions available. Partly because the quality of the training is inadequate. Because of economic development in the region, an increasing number of companies in Nairobi and Kampala are seeking skilled labour. It is very satisfying to see how the vocational training centres of the SWEAR program continuously improve the quality of their training by adapting it to the needs of the market. This provides many young people with a real perspective for a better future.

Benedikt Metternich

ICEP development program

Our funding partner

We are also grateful to all our private donors who support our development program!

Capacity Development

Capacity development of partner organisations is part of the work of ICEP. We support our local partner to improve their management and their structures and help them to build up networks with other local partners. Our capacity development apporach aims at strengthening the organi-sational and financial independence of the partners and to enhance the sustainability of the development work.

Organisational development:ICEP provides strategic counselling and supports collaborators or partner institutions through further training.

Partizipative Implementation:Collaborative planning and implementation of projects generate an important added value for the partner organisations. In this way, a collaboration with ICEP encourages institutional learning processes, develops joint expertise and helps building long-term sustainable structures.

Know-how Transfer: ICEP identifies similar problems in different regions, connects partners through South-South cooperation or institutionalized exchanges and let them apply their know-how in new projects.


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