The workshop brought together members of the Association of Microfinance Institutions in Rwanda (AMIR), an umbrella body for microfinance institutions, Rwanda Institute of Cooperatives, Entrepreneurship & Microfinance(RICEM) and Savings Banks Foundation for International Cooperation (SBFIC), a German NGO operating in Rwanda.
Currently, there are 457 financial institutions licensed by the Central Bank of Rwanda and 95% of those institutions operate under AMIR.
RDB stated that hiring the youth in financial institutions is key to the future of the country.
Ngoboka Francois, RDB Head of Labour Market Interventions said that the reason why RDB invited financial institutions is that most youth who are seeking jobs target financial institutions and that they should, therefore, be facilitated to enter the workplace.
He noted that young people who are new to the workplace don’t have the required expertise to prosper in the workplace and the Dual Apprenticeship System in the financial institutions are the best spots to exercise the knowledge they have acquired in college.
“Of course, they have some skills but those skills can be multiplied through competent based learning and practice.”
Ngoboka said that although there are financial resources in the National Budget allocated to the youth seeking for internship opportunities, more needs to be done on the part of financial institutions to promote that initiative.
“It is true that you cannot learn everything in school. Financial institutions should support the youth to practice what they have learned and still learning in the Dual Apprenticeship System and if their performance is commendable, hire them after their trial period.”
Maria Knappstein, Country Director of SBFIC Rwanda reported that since SBFIC started operating in Rwanda in 2009, they have been collaborating with AMIR to finance different projects directed towards supporting the youth seeking for employment. She said that providing internships is important to develop a qualified labor force for the future.
“We follow up on the apprentices who obtain internships in financial institutions and ensure they gain more knowledge, skills, and attitude from the experience.”
Aimable Nkuranga, AMIR Executive Director said that the RDB initiative comes in handy for graduates who want to practice what they have learned.
“ Apprentices spend only 20% of their time at the training academy (RICEM) and spend the remaining 80% putting to use their skills.”
Dr. Mukulira Olivier, RICEM Managing Director said that their contribution is to prepare curricula and follow up on the quality of knowledge transmitted during the apprenticeship.
“Most of the time, youth have no clue what to do once they enter the workplace. It is important to follow up on them every step of the way to ensure they know how to practice what they have learned in school and still learning in the Dual Apprenticeship System.”
Musangamfura Ignace, Goshen Finance Ltd Managing Director said “Every year, we welcome apprentices who are working to practice and improve the skills they have acquired in university and the Dual Apprenticeship System. We train them and allow them to grow professionally.”
He added that besides the allowance money RDB provides to interns, Goshen Finance Ltd facilitates the interns by providing Rwf 50,000 to each intern every month and facilitates transport throughout the entire internship period.