Empowering Youth with Technical and Vocational Education and Training Skills through Master Craft Practicum
AbstractThis paper focuses on youth empowerment in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) skills through Master Craft practicum training of the increasing number of trainees joining sustainable vocational skills development centers. The study was conducted in Karamoja region, North-Eastern Uganda. Seven Vocational Training Institutes (VTIs) and eighteen work-based private training workshops were randomly sampled to establish the nature of vocational skills training provided by public and private master craft person work-based training; methods of training and trainees exposure to training materials, and how Master Craft practicum empowers youths with sustainable long-life TVET skills. A cross-sectional survey study design was used for the 7 VTIs. Tracer study was conducted on 75 VTI graduates and 19 instructors. Also, 18 private workshops with 28 trainees were involved in the study. The study was mainly descriptive with simple quantitative method to analyze statistical data collected using questionnaire and interview guide responses. In correlating the study objectives, the study revealed that, 94% of graduates from VTIs were insufficiently trained in practical works but they had scientific accuracy of the content knowledge. Also, methods of training and utilization of instructional materials varied with VTIs practicing on dummies while the private sector provided Work-Based Learning (WBL) with practice on clients’ items which motivates trainees to apply concepts learnt. The inadequate practical exposure and inappropriate methods coupled with dynamic technology, attracted few trainees to VTIs. Skilling Uganda Strategy is aimed at improving quality of skills competence with WBL and addressing the diversity in trainings as demonstrated by low morale and stagnation of TVET professionals. It was recommended that; TVET trainings should improve on training modes that address sustainability and create opportunities for private sector to award trainees with workers’ Practically Assessed Skills (PAS) certificate for professional development. Work-Based Learning with private sector should be strengthened in order to guarantee application of modern instruction techniques and development of skills training in the dynamic changing technology. All TVET instructors should be skilled to a master craft level to empower youths to attain sustainable skills by frequently scanning the labour market, utilizing tracer system and creating platforms for sharing TVET innovations and publications
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