Fontes Foundation partners with Clarke International University partners and Laboremus Uganda Ltd. to bring Uganda a program to develop software development skills tailored to make youth job-ready.
The “skills gap” between what schools and universities teach and what employers need is a known problem for employers in the ICT-sector. Refactory offers a comprehensive nine-month program with a focus on the technology and entrepreneurial skills that are required for employment in a fast-growing and rapidly changing IT employment landscape. From the beginning, the goal of the project has been to address two major issues, namely the high level of unemployment in Uganda, specifically among youth, and to contribute to the further growth and development of the ICT sector.
The Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), a directorate under the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has committed NOK 16.4 million to the project over a four-year period. The overall budget for the academy is approximately NOK 30 million.
The program seeks to recruit students who have demonstrable passion and basic software development knowledge. Whereas the focus is on fresh graduates from an IT-related discipline, students from other disciplines have an equal opportunity of being admitted. The program believes in creating a co-creation environment where technology is an enabler rather than an end in itself.
- Students start with the Catalyst Course, a focused three-month program that includes training in leadership, critical thinking, IT project management, as well as introductions to different technologies and softwares.
- The most accomplished go on to a six-month practical immersive bootcamp, where a key component is working on solving a real problem for one of our industry partners.
- Finally, a select few get to participate in the Last Mile Program, where the graduate gets the opportunity to work at an elite ICT company for 6-12 months while continuing his or her training.
The main activities are supported by a student mentorship program, a job placement program and the setup of an impact hub. The 1st cohort graduated in June 2019.
Find out more on the Refactory website.
You can read the grant agreement with Norad here.