Discussions on skilling and skills shortages that focus only on the supply side tend to miss an important dimension - the demand for skilled workers. Studies have shown that a one-sided analysis of just the supply-side policies and focused solely on increasing the supply of skilled workers cannot be adequate in addressing the skills gap problem faced by a modern sector such as manufacturing.
In view of the above, this study set out to use industrial parks as a unit of analysis to establish the types skills required for employment in Uganda’s industrial sector and in the industrial parks. The intention was to find out whether there was a mismatch between supply and demand for particular skills, and whether firms in the industrial parks are investing adequately (or at all) in further training of their workers. We wanted to document any success stories in industrial skills development and suggest ways in which they can be scaled up. In addition, we also set out to establish the conditions in which workers employed in industrial parks work and the quality of jobs in these parks.
The overall intention was to offer recommendations on how to deliver high-quality and well-targeted skills as demanded and/or needed by Uganda’s growing industry. The paper, therefore, concludes by considering how the analysis and the lessons learned could inform the improvement of design and implementation of skills development programmes for Uganda’s industrial development.