A total of 281 plumbers, electro-mechanic technicians and customer service advisers today graduated in practically Acquired skills at the NWSC Vocational Skills Development Facility (VSDF) in Ggaba.
The graduation ceremony in Ggaba water works was presided over by the NWSC Board chairman Dr.Eng Christopher Ebal
The graduates completed the practically Acquired Skills (PAS) training in industrial plumbing, industrial Electro-mechanical installation, welding, customer service and heavy equipment operations.
NWSC established the Vocational Skills Development Facility in 2013 after realizing that there was inadequate training/skilling for the shop floor staff including plumbers, electro-mechanical technicians, customer advisers and water quality technicians.
The VSDF was established with support from GIZ and is accredited by the Directorate of Industrial Training under the Ministry of Education and Sports.
The Practically Acquired Skills training makes transition from the informal to the formal education and training sector much easier.
It enables vocational experience and skills acquired on the job to be validated and recognized.
Speaking at the function, NWSC Board Chairman Dr.Eng Board Christopher Ebal said that the training is essential in the dynamic environment NWSC serves.
“The training has equipped our staff with better skills to serve our people. The training programme directly responds to both the institutional and labour market needs.” he said
He added that what NWSC was doing was in tandem with the Ugandan Vocational Qualifications Framework policy objective that allows for employers and industry experts to play a significant role in defining occupational standards and training content.
The NWSC MD Dr.Eng Silver Mugisha, said the graduation was in fulfillment of one of the thematic areas of the current NWSC five year strategic Direction 2016-2021 which emphasizes the enhancement of staff productivity and capacity development through skills development, research and development, and Business re-engineering.
“90% of NWSC work is in the field. Skilling of our field officers will result into improved service delivery and customer service” he said
Last Financial year, NWSC extended over 2100kms of water mains (up from 80kms of extensions in 2013), increased its customer connections from 300,000 to over 600,000 customers, increase in turn over from 150B to 388billion among other achievements.
Training of staff is paramount for continuous performance enhancement.” he said
Dr. Silver said that it is unfair for organization to use staff without enhancing their skills.
He added that no organization is greater than the quality of the staff who worked for it.
He reiterated the commitment of NWSC to develop skilled and motivated staff to handle the challenges of service delivery as the organization gears for 100% service coverage.
“In National Water and Sewerage Corporation we believe the customer is the reason we exist. As we expand to provide services in more towns and serve more people, we are training and motivating our staff to deliver a high quality of service to our customers,” Dr. Silver said.
Deputy Director Assessments and Certification at the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT) under the Ministry of Education and Sports thanked NWSC for the initiative.
“NWSC in Uganda and on the global stage is a symbol of excellence. We are very happy to partner with the corporation to skill Ugandans.” he said
Giz country Portfolio Manager Dr. Eckhart Bode applauded NWSC for successfully implementing the programme.
“Uganda has made steady strides in the skilling and empowerment of water and sanitation professionals.” he said
He added that Giz is happy to partner with NWSC, one of the most successful utilities on the African continent.
“We have supported NWSC from the early 90’s and applaud the institution for priotising staff development.” he said
NWSC Director Business and Scientific services Dr. Rose kaggwa said that the students sat for theory, practical and hands on assessment.
“A total of 281 staff graduated today. These include;
•203 Industrial plumbers
•23 Electoral Mechanical Technicians.
•55 customer service advisers.
Dr. Rose appreciated the support from the Ministry of Education and Sports, Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), Industrial Training counsel and other partners.
The Manager Training at NWSC Dr. Martin Kalibala said that the corporation under its training department is designing a number of staff development programmes aimed at improving staff capacity to serve the customers better.