By Our Reporter
In 2021, the National Planning Authority (NPA) reported that 87% of Ugandans who had completed their education are unemployed and 20% of those that find jobs are underemployed due to reasons like lack of actual skills needed by the job market.
The high rate of unemployment has been discussed as one of the reasons why the country may not attain middle-income status by 2040.
In a bid to mitigate the unemployment challenge, Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) runs a Graduate Training program that enrolls trainees from Ugandan universities and gives them the opportunity to train and learn from the business and eventually absorbs them as employees.
This year, nine trainees have completed the training program and have been offered permanent employment in different departments such as Marketing, Manufacturing, Production, and Sales among others.
While speaking at the graduate trainee luncheon held at CCBU headquarters in Namanve, Catherine Gita, the Human Resource Director for People and Culture at CCBU noted that the 18-month program was aimed at equipping trainees with skills and knowledge that enable them to develop their careers.
“The GIT program is one of the ways in which we continuously invest in the future of Uganda’s workforce. Programs like this help in presenting fresh graduates with work readiness skills that will propel them to the available employment opportunities,” said Gita.
Also present at the event was the General Manager of CCBU, Melkamu Abebe, who congratulated the Graduates in Training and encouraged them to have teachable spirits throughout their career.
The Managing Director of the Central African Region CCBA, Conrad Van Niekerk, who was also the guest of honor encouraged the trainees to embrace challenges and turn them into opportunities and asked them to be patient in their journey while aiming for more.
The program entails mentoring, coaching sessions, leadership development initiatives, management meetings, special projects, formal and on-the-job training, as well as functional rotational assignments.
This year, all nine graduate trainees will transition into a destination role within the organization where the company will continuously build their expertise and leadership capacity.
“The program was very insightful. I had the opportunity to learn from a team of professionals and use the latest technology which has helped me to get the most out of It. I am confident that I will achieve more during my work at CCBU,” said Barbra Namanyi- Graduate in Training Logistics Function.
Every year, CCBU conducts a GIT program where applicants from different universities undergo rigorous and competitive processes before they are selected and trained in the different departments.
CCBU remains committed to bridging the employment and knowledge gap with more initiatives such as the partnership with boundless minds which provides mentorship to youth and women empowerment through upskilling.