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Project Archive

Workers’PAS: - Validation of Occupational Skills

Uganada has lived for decades under various dictators. The war in the north of the country that has been going on for over 20 years has driven 1.6 million people out of their villages. In spite of this, the southern part of Uganda shows surprisingly stable economic growth. Unfortunately, the north sees almost no benefit from this positive development and Uganda as a whole is one of the poorest countries in the world. The average income is less than one dollar per day. Roughly 40 percent of the population in the south lives below the poverty line, in the north it is over 70 percent. A majority of youths in Uganda have had little or no formal schooling. The majority of them are unemployed. Even the most basic practical vocational training is unavailable to them and their chances of finding paid work are very small.

The Project

The Workers' PAS project, which ended in November 2013, provided a certification opportunity to transfer skills acquired informally into the formal qualification system, enhancing the link between informal and formal training. The purpose was to make visible the entire scope of knowledge and experience held by an individual, irrespective of the context where the learning originally took place. For an employer it was a question of human resource management, for individuals a question of having the full range of skills and competences valued and authenticated and for society a question of making full use of existing knowledge and experience, thus avoiding waste and duplication. Validation can facilitate progression in education and training, (re)integration in the labour market, geographical and occupational mobility as well as organizational and personal development. Therefore as a new skill or competency is acquired, it is assessed and certified in the holder's Worker'sPAS. The project targeted disadvantaged and socially excluded young women and men who had not benefitted from formal training system, but wished to be certified in practical skills. The Worker'sPAS was recognized within the Uganda Vocational Qualifications Framework (UVQF) standards of the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT).


Project interventions included strategy and process development, capacity building, Institutional development, coaching and technical assistance. The project facilitated trainings, development of Worker'sPAS, Assessments of trainees, assessors trainings and other processes such as administration, meetings, general developments that are important for the implementation of the project.

The Workers PAS gained national recognition in Uganda through its approval by the Directorate of Industrial Training (DIT). It met the skill gaps of the targeted beneficiaries by equipping them with requisite competencies through non-formal and informal training and validation approaches. Training providers found the training model relevant to the needs of their clients. The Uganda Small Scale Industries Association (USSIA) and the Uganda Association of Private Training Institutions (UGAPRIVI) found great acceptance in the Worker'sPAS as direct partners. The project led to increased incomes and employability amongst the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries' self-esteem, confidence and recognition in the community were enhanced. Beneficiaries were able to train others and this created a ripple-effect in the communities. Other key results include issuing of more than 1,500 Workers PAS Certificates thus exceeding the target of 1,200; Worker'sPAS developed for 7 trades namely Hairdressing, Tailoring, Motorcycle Mechanic, Welding, Metal Fabrication, Plumbing, Carpentry and Joinery; 10 Memoranda of Understanding were signed with Training Providers to implement training; 6 of the selected Training Providers are members of UGAPRIVI, 15 were SMEs, and 3 Public / school institutions. 465 trainees received modular skills upgrading training and assessment had occurred in 5 of the 8 trades developed.

Project partner

  • European Union

Project website


Project countries

  • Uganda

Project duration

2011 - 2013

Working area


Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
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CH-8005 Zürich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
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