The Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Education and Sports and National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) have signed a tri-partite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at skilling Engineers, plumbers and other technicians in the sector.
The above follows the July 2012, tri–partite MOU) between NWSC, Directorate of Water Development (DWD), and the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT), under the auspices of Ministry of Education and Sports was signed. The duration of this MOU was five (5) years, and expired at the end (July 2017).
The latest MoU to run for another five years (2018-2023) was signed to benefit more technicians in the water sector, the previous one having been implemented successfully.
Representing the Ministry of Water and Environment, NWSC Board member and Director, directorate of water development in the Ministry of Water and Environment Eng. Aaron M. Kabirizi said that all technicians and plumbers will be required to be certified. “We want to know the different skills they attained from training institutions,”” he said.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, NWSC MD Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha said a number of NWSC plumbers and technicians have learnt on the job and, therefore, there is need to test the skills.
He said that the programme is in line with the ongoing staff development plans and the corporation has made good strides towards developing training materials and vocational infrastructure/training centres at Gaba and Kachung Vocational Skills Development Facility coming on board very soon. “We have plumbers who have worked with NWSC for over 20 years and we need to certify them,” he said.
Aggrey Kibenge, the education ministry undersecretary, said certification would enable local technicians and plumbers to compete for opportunities even at regional level.
While Dr Martin Kalibala, the manager training and capacity building at NWSC, said since 2016, NWSC is been assessing engineers and technicians from DIT. “It is good for this programme to be rolled out. It has improved service delivery and reduced on costs of monitoring workers, since they are now competent,” he said.
Kalibala said that upon completion of the training and assessment, NWSC technicians will be given certificates known as Worker’s Practically Acquired Skills (Worker’sPAS).
The primary objectives of the MOU are to: develop a highly skilled national technicians’ workforce in the water sector, which shall competently run and maintain water supply, sewerage, and sanitation systems, within and outside the jurisdiction of DWD and other Water Authorities.
The trained personnel will; enhance the schemes’ operational efficiencies; ensure better asset management; and reduction in non–revenue and create synergies with stakeholders and develop capacity at various vocational skills levels, qualification standards, assess/examine candidates and award certificates/qualifications.
Benefits of the MoU to NWSC
NWSC will achieve the following benefits from implementing the MOU:
• Enhance vocational hands–on skills for technicians (plumbers, electro–mechanical technicians, electricians, customer service advisors, welders, water quality experts) for the small towns under DWD jurisdiction.
• Earn additional income from training DWD technicians – through External Services (ES) – since the financing mechanisms of the MOU training activities will come from DWD budgets.
• Strengthen our collaboration with DIT and DWD.
• Enhanced our corporate image, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and visibility by enhancing skills within the water sector.
Last year, over 232 NWSC graduated from the Gaba skills development facility [VSDF].
This year, a total of 284 graduands will graduate at the centre come November 9, 2018.