200 beneficiaries graduate from Uganda Breweries Learning for Life program
Silver Springs Hotel, Kampala. Thursday 1st June 2023| A total of 200 youths have graduated from Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL)’s Learning for Life program which is in partnership with Diageo Bar Academy, Light for the World, and Enterprise Uganda. Through this program, the youths have been trained and equipped with business and hospitality skills which increase their chances of finding employment in the hospitality industry in order to improve their livelihoods.
Uganda Breweries Society 2030 sustainability action plan aims at a sustainable and inclusive world by 2030 for all to create a purpose-driven business that succeeds in the long term. Their commitment to inclusion and diversity is to ensure 50% of beneficiaries from the brewery’s community programs are women and that these community programs are designed to empower underrepresented groups in various communities.
Unlike the previous years, a lot of focus was put on women and persons with disabilities because with the already existing burden of income inequality, women and persons with disabilities continue to face many barriers in society and this puts them at a greater risk of poverty due to limited negotiating power to acquire employment. Among the 200 in this year’s intake, 50% were women and 10% persons with disabilities.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Managing Director of Uganda Breweries, Andrew Kilonzo noted that the level of unemployment in Uganda continues to be a great challenge among the youths and so many interventions such as these are necessary to equip youths with skills that will make them employable.
“Youth unemployment in Uganda currently stands between 64% and 70%. Every year about 400,000 young Ugandans come onto the job market to compete for approximately 52,000 available formal jobs each year. About 30% of the youths who are institutionally qualified in Uganda are unable to find jobs, this situation is worse for semiskilled and unskilled youths. So as UBL, we strive to equip youths with marketable skills to prepare them to transition into employment or business,” Kilonzo said.
At the ceremony, Geraldine Ssali, the Chief Guest commended Uganda Breweries together with its partners for the role they are playing in empowering youth around the communities of their operation. She also challenged the graduands to remain open-minded in order to learn as much as possible in their respective fields of speciality. In his remarks, he further noted that they need to embrace the challenges that lie ahead and seize every opportunity in order to expand their skill set.
“Stay curious, be open to new experiences, and never stop learning because graduation is not the end of your learning journey; it is only the beginning. The more you invest in your personal and professional development, the greater your potential for success. The hospitality industry is ever-evolving, and it requires individuals who are adaptable, innovative, and committed to continuous growth. Always be open to new experiences, and never stop learning,” said Ms Ssali
Since inception in 2001, the Skills for Life programme has awarded over 200 university scholarships to bright and needy students across East Africa, with 40 of them from Uganda.