Learning for sustainable futures:
With 70% of Uganda’s population of 34.9 million below the age of 30 and 56% below 18 years, the country has one of the youngest populations in the world. The youth bulge that the country is experiencing demands for educational actions that enable these young people to learn for sustainable futures, especially for decent and sustainable work. Currently, youth unemployment in Uganda is estimated at 65% and is largely attributed to the slow growth of jobs in the economy, as well as a poor education system that produces graduates with inadequate skills for the labour market and for livelihood opportunities. This paper underscores the importance of partnerships between training institutions and industry in preparing young people for decent and sustainable work in Uganda. Drawing on research experience in the area of vocational skills development for marginalised youth in the last five years through the use of participatory methods; and experiences in facilitating an undergraduate class on Agriculture and Rural Development with a component of interaction with practitioners, I argue that one of the best ways to prepare learners for decent and sustainable work is through partnerships with industry. Not only do such partnerships enhance practical skills development, they also improve the quality of education generally and transitions from school to work. The paper concludes with a formulation of ingredients of effective partnerships between training institutions and industry that should enrich the preparation of learners for decent and sustainable work.