“Be honest. Be respectful. Be confident.” Denis Ssebugwawo, the leader of the youth centre, looks at the gathered students while he goes through the checklist for their interview prep.
Some 20 students are gathered at the youth centre in Bunga, Kampala to participate in mock interviews designed to help them land a job. The centre is run by our partners at the NGO Fontes Foundation and provides disadvantaged youth from all backgrounds and at all educational levels with the necessary skills and insights to get employment or start a business.
Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world. Three-quarters of the population is below the age of 30, and 64% of the country’s unemployed are between the age of 18-30.
The potential is there. Young people are eager to work, but many lack the necessary skills to secure a job. This is what Fontes is trying to change.
From soft skills to practical skills
This Friday, Laboremus staff are gathered at the centre to help students prepare for job interviews through mock interviews. Nervous but confident students are interviewed for jobs, followed by a session of feedback and advice. The feedback concerns everything from body language and posture, to the importance of researching the company you are interviewing for, what salary to ask for (and how), and how to structure a CV.
At the youth centre, students are taught entrepreneurship skills, English, ICT skills, and personal development. In addition to financial support, Laboremus regularly supports events to help students with everything from developing their ICT skills to Friday’s mock interviews.