Practical Internship Gives Vocational Students a Head Start in the Job Market

Technical education students at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC) Kigali say that practical internships has given them hope of getting employed as soon as they graduate.

The Industrial Attachment Program/ internship has prepares their future careers through hands-on experience, broadened network, a wider variety of life skills, and a glimpse into types of jobs one actually do.

Theophile Tuyishyime, 22, a diploma in automobile at IPRC-Kigali says that a hands-on experience was the best part of his internship.

“I got to use modern garage equipment’s we don’t have at school that I had only read about in textbooks, and critically think through my own project,” Tuyishyime said, I really enjoyed being given the space, guidance and encouragement to head my own project”.

Valence Mbarushimana, a senior five student from Auto Ecole Ste Famille VTC –Kigali is doing his practical internship at “Korea Motor-Polytech garage in Kicukiro says that the program has opened him to various realms and choices of careers.

He stated that internship gives him ability to make career choices based on ones interests.

However, Yvette Komera, a female automobile mechanics student at (IPRC) has had a different experience inside a garage where she has been able to practical use what she only saw and reach in textbooks.

“Practical internships gets me more of a hands-on reality of what my career would be instead of hearing about it in a classroom and reading about it in a textbook,” she said.

While in the garage, Komera says that she learnt the importance of communicating in the noisy mechanical environment. In her experience every mechanic can get busy and learning from the best needs one to develop open communication skills.

“I was intimidated on my first day in the garage, and become so nervous and reserved to ask many questions because I didn’t want to admit that I didn’t understand or that I needed extra help with anything” she narrates.

With time, Komera says she had to open up and talk to someone, and with time she notes that this was one of the strongest and most important life skills that I learned during her internship.

Fredric Musabyimana, instructor in automobile workshop said that the logic behind internships is to give students more confidence to become real engineers and mechanics who live a practical life in the real world.

For the State Minister of Education State in charge of Technical Education (TVET), Olivier Rwamukwaya believes that “It is absolutely necessary for every single college student to undergo internship.”

“As a number of graduates struggle with getting hired, because they lack experience; internships in colleges, will positively impact on today’s job market.” Rwamukwaya said.

Rwanda plans to create over 1.5million jobs by the end of 2018 and at least 200.000 off farm jobs annually.