At least half of the labour force in Rwanda has no required qualifications for the job market according to a new state of skills supply and demand report released by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB).
And the State of Skills Supply Report, notes that the limited access to skilled labour is a threat to the country's growth ambitions as investors struggle to fill the gaps.
The report shows that up to 268 jobs, such as those in finance and management (48), manufacturing (45), construction (35) and others, are mismatched.
This means many of the people occupying these jobs in the economy don’t possess the needed skills and training, and all these occupations are demanded. The situation has been compounded by the fact that education and training are not providing the skills demanded in the country’s labour market.
Cause of concern
“There is cause for concern, what it means by mismatch is that you are supplying on the labour market what the demand is not looking for. The question is, how do we adapt the education system such that we don’t continue supplying skills that are not demanded and instead produce those that are needed...” said Francois Ngoboka, head of the labour market interventions department at RDB.
He said although the non-tradable services are also employed, the jobs are not as productive as they would want. Adding that what is needed is to increase tradable services, those that can be absorbed by the economy and those to be exported.
The low levels of education and skills in the labour force have been partly driven by high dropout rates at different levels of the education system.
The National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) 2017-2024, targets to create 1.5 million decent and productive jobs, but this target looks to be beyond reach due to the prevailing conditions.
The report shows that 34.3% of the labour force only have primary education, and 6.5 percent have lower secondary.