The pioneer students of the Grant Thornton Foundation’s free Skills Development Academy completed their studies recently followed by a colorful graduation ceremony where the graduands were presented with their relevant certificates.
The entirely free initiative, which attests to Grant Thornton Foundation’s commitment to engage in worthwhile corporate social services for the benefit of Ugandans, kicked off in May last year following the academy’s inaugration presided over by the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), John Rujoki.
Beneficiaries are drawn from freshly graduated university students who have offered business related courses. A total of 25 students are admitted by the academy twice annually, making a total of 50 skilled graduates per annum.
The skills development initiative, is among several Corporate Social Responsibility Services financed by Grant Thornton Foundation including: health, sanitation and other education services.
25 students, selected out of a pool of fresh university graduates, were admitted to the pioneer class of the skills development academy located at Grant Thornton’s building along Lugogo By Pass, going on to successfully complete their hands-on practical studies at the hands of well established tutors drawn from within and without Grant Thornton ; before they were duly presented at a ceremony presided over by the Education and Sports’ Commissioner in charge of university training, Timothy Musoke, for their graduation.
Speaking on behalf of the Education and Sports Minister in charge of High Education Dr. J.C Muyingo, Commissioner Musoke saluted Grant Thornton academy, it’s tutors and the graduands upon the first graduation milestone.
Speaking glowingly of Grant Thornton Foundation’s skills development initiative, Musoke emphasized that it aligns very well with the government of Uganda’s own skills development curriculum, terming both initiatives and similar ones a game changer in the government’s against the soaring unemployment.
The Commissioner was elated to hear that 23 out of a total of 25 graduands of the academy’s first class had already secured gainful employment, underscoring the impact of the hands-on training offered by the Grant Thorn Foundation Skills Development Academy.
The ceremony was, among other notable dignitaries, graced by a delegation of Grant Thornton’s officials from Tanzania, officials from Bank of Baroda, from Uganda Revenue Authority, Insurance guru, Geoffrey Kiguhuru also the President of the esteemed Institute of Corporate Governance in Uganda the Executive Director of Grant Thornton Foundation, Senior Counsel Albert Byamugisha as well as Makerere University Business School’s Associate Professor, Dr Vincent Bagire and one of the senior tutors at Grant Thornton Foundation Skills Development Academy.
Speaking during the event, Grant Thornton’s Managing Partner, Anil Patel guaranteed the continuation of the skills development initiative.
Graduand after graduand judging from the six-month hands-on training they had been exposed to at the academy, expressed hope that he or she would be able to excel in the world of work.
The graduands thanked the management and tutors for taking them through the life-long skills development they had not been offered while at the universities which concentrate more on theoretical training, churning out graduates unable to cope with the demands of the job market.
The second cohort of beneficiaries comprising of an equal number of fresh university graduates were unveiled during the graduation event ahead of opening of the second class of the academy.