The Government of Uganda received credit from the World Bank towards implementation of the Uganda Competitive Fund for employer-led short term training (Uganda Skills Development Fund –USDF). The Uganda competitive fund for employer-led short-term training is part of the Skilling Uganda Project addressing prevailing skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda. The Project component, which is called Skills Development Facility (SDF) has a total budget of 21.8 Million USD including operational costs. The component has four funding windows:
i) Skills shortages in the formal sector; ii) Skills shortages in informal sector; iii) Innovative training and iv) Recognition of prior learning.
In January 2017, SDF made its first call for proposals. A total of 2,106 applications were received from across the country. All the received applications were subjected to the assessment / evaluation processes that include prescreening, pre-appraisal, due diligence, peer review and grants committee approval. Received applications in different windows are at different levels of the grant making cycle. Under window 1 (Internship), 23 applications have so far been approved by Grants Committee, cleared by World bank and Grant awarded. Under Window 2, Sixty-one (61) applications have been so far approved by Grants Committee and cleared by the Bank. For window 3, a total of 22 files passed pre-screening and 15 are ready for due diligence / final assessment.
The SDF is implemented through a Grant Facility mechanism that will be co-financed by the private sector through a matching grant contribution, and support training activities that lead to improved productivity and competitiveness in the formal and informal sectors.
The facility is a 4-year project that supports short-term employer-led training and recognition of prior learning as well as increased access to internships for Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) students. The facility aims at addressing prevailing skills imbalances and shortages in Uganda and this is done through four thematic areas: formal sector, informal (Jua Khali) sector, innovative training and recognition of prior learning initiatives in the prioritized sectors.
The Facility is initially focusing on three sectors; Agriculture, Construction and Manufacturing, including auto mechanics.
1.3 Funding windows
SDF has four windows that target various categories of beneficiaries in the formal and informal sectors. Funding modalities and key eligible activities for each window are highlighted in table below:
Note: *1 Medium enterprises: Between 50 and 100 employees. Annual turnover or assets between UGX 360 million and UGX 30 billion; and Large enterprises: More than 100 employees and an annual turnover or assets exceeding UGX 30 billion.
*2 Innovative training: Training programs or training concepts can be innovative in several ways. They may either cater for groups that have not been catered for before, the mode of training may be new in a Ugandan context, it may be based on new models in financing, e.g. through income-generation or partnerships between the training provider and a company, or the actual content of the training may be novel and be aligned to technological advancement of a product.