KAMPALA – Uganda Breweries Limited (UBL) has announced plans to upskill over 2,000 individuals employed in the hospitality sector to elevate industry standards. The training will be provided under the Diageo Bar Academy, a global program that benchmarks international best practice to enhance the skills and competencies of both hospitality staff and management to drive better guest experiences.
“Uganda Breweries is pleased to be playing a role towards boosting the hospitality industry by influencing better guest experiences, which will directly result in higher consumer participation and higher revenues earned by businesses and consequently the economy. We intend to reach over 2,000 people employed in hospitality over the next two months to deliver world class practical and hands-on training around the country,” said Agaba Tumusiime, Reserve Brand Ambassador at Uganda Breweries Limited.
The program targets both business owners and their employees including managers, bartenders, waiters and waitresses. The training covers various modules on behind-the-bar skills; hospitality essentials; international best practice and emerging trends; improving operational efficiency and driving business profitability, to mention but a few.
“The hospitality sector is one of the biggest employers in the country. With the increased number of young people joining the labor market every year, supporting business growth and stimulating entrepreneurship in this highly viable sector is critical for socio-economic growth. With this training, UBL is providing opportunities for young people to achieve gainful employment within the hospitality industry which was one of the highest contributors to GDP before the pandemic. We believe this will overtime improve the quality of life of the beneficiaries by enhancing their capability to earn a living,” Agaba added.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the tourism and hospitality sector contributed 7.7% of GDP with earnings of USD1.6 billion. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the tourism and hospitality sector accounts for nearly 667,000 staff with 90% employed in the hospitality sector and contributing 6.7% of total national employment.
“The country is currently grappling with various economic shocks that have resulted in a tough operating environment. This situation comes on the heels of the pandemic that resulted in business closure for a period of close to 2 years. This is a demonstration of our commitment to supporting business recovery and survival,” Agaba said.
Under the National Development Plan III, Uganda is prioritizing workforce skills development to accelerate the acquisition of urgently needed skills in key growth areas, and to create a skilled, inclusive, and ethical labor force. These efforts are expanding opportunities for the development of skills that are market-driven and enterprise-driven, including for the informal sector.
Uganda is one of the youngest countries in world, with a median age of 15.9 years. According to the World Bank, around 700,000 young people reach working age every year in Uganda. This is expected to rise to an average of one million in the decade from 2030-2040, and it is already creating a mismatch between labour demand and supply.
Under the program, Uganda Breweries has partnered with Light of the World International to extend skilling and training to people living with disabilities.
“We seek and strive for inclusion and diversity and this program will extend training to persons with disabilities, youth and women as we aim to create a more inclusive and sustainable world. This is in line with our parent company, Diageo’s Society 2030 agenda which intends to sustainably make a positive contribution to the community,” Agaba concluded.