business and innovation

What Alan Sugar and Busolwe Technical College have in common…

Uganda RS Oct 2015-154What parallels are there between a technical college in Busolwe, Uganda, and Lord Sugar’s boardroom?

Well, the simple answer is ‘not many’! However, in one regard they are strikingly similar as they are both filled with people longing to hear two, life-changing words: “You’re hired”. a little bit of HOPE is passionate about young people fulfilling their potential which is why we developed our very own apprenticeship scheme last year for students in technical colleges graduating in skill-based subjects (such as  engineering, tailoring  and carpentry).

The idea behind this program is to facilitate a smooth transition from education to employment for graduates as, while their studies provide a solid foundation on which to build a career, their knowledge is often theoretical rather than practical due to limited hands-on experience in their chosen field.

This program seeks to complement their studies with in-depth training, in this case, by enabling junior carpenters to spend a year working under a senior carpenter. During that year, they not only improve their carpentry skills but develop a range of competencies that are essential to running a business, including accounting and marketing skills. Once their year of training is completed, the students will be fully equipped to start their own businesses should they choose to do so. They may also be offered the opportunity to continue working for their mentor in a full-time capacity.

Last year we trialled our apprenticeship scheme with the help of three senior carpenters:  Moses, Sheikh Mbubi and Higenyi. Thanks to these men we were able to facilitate apprenticeships for Michael, Godfrey, Esau and Patrick (four Busolwe students). Both the trainers and the trainees have given us incredibly positive feedback throughout the process, to such an extent that we are now looking to scale up this scheme for the coming year.

Our hope is that by the end of next year we will have funded 10-12 apprenticeships with a view to expanding the areas of specialist training offered by 2017. This is a wonderful and inspiring project that celebrates young people’s potential and rejoices in seeing their lives take shape! If you would like to be a part of this project, a monthly gift of £10 would go a long way in helping cover the costs of another apprenticeship. Please go to We are so grateful to all of you who have been part of this story with us and look forward to keeping you informed of all the exciting developments in the year to come!

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