The revised law over the recruitment of Ugandan migrant workers, regulations, 2021 by the regulator- Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development, requires that labour externalisation companies take their clients through a two weeks orientation training before qualifying them for work.
The law introduced a pre-departure orientation training to migrant workers, and bans the charging of migrant workers unauthorised fees. The penalty for breaking any of these regulations was also increased from three months to five years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points (20million Uganda shillings) or serving both.
This prerequisite was propelled by migration specialists who continuously urged the Government to create an organized training programme for every Ugandan who plans to work abroad.
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The specialists reasoned that migrant workers would benefit from learning a variety of subjects throughout the training, including the fundamentals of the language and culture of the place they will be working.
This was after a number of Ugandans had reported having issues with their employers when they travel for employment, particularly the girls who go to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, China and many other countries that don’t use English as their national language.
The training is primarily due to linguistic barriers and cultural shock.
The Ministry of Gender has since permitted companies that bear qualifications to train migrant workers.
Before being accredited to conduct training, the company is required to display its shareholding, date of inception and its registration details in the newspapers (media) so that if anyone has reservations, the regulator is informed early enough and the entity is immediately disqualified.
The Secretary to the Judiciary and Permanent Secretary Dr Pius Bigirimana is among the many Ugandans whose companies were advertised in the newspapers (media) as required by the Ministry of Gender.
However, a section of the media has since misrepresented Bigirimana’s company profile linking it to exportation of labour yet it is into sheer training.
The company, Vision House Ltd has 11 directors who include Bigirimana, his wife and children.
Before being accredited, the company must have a training facility, with fully fledged facilities including dormitories, classes, kitchen, toilets, among others.
All these are required because the trainees spend two weeks at the centre before they are awarded a certificate of completion.
The company, after attaining accreditation, turns into a training centre. Its data is captured by the ministry and then shared to the recruitment firms which thereafter book for training sessions through the regulator.
The role of the training centre is to only train and hand over the trainees after two weeks. It is therefore false, malicious, misleading and wrong to allege that Bigirimana’s company is involved in labour export.
Also, training centres don’t only train migrant workers, but also immigrants (foreigners coming to Uganda to work here) can benefit from the program.
Also Ugandans can be trained to within other regions across the country and in East Africa.