In search of the ‘better life’; The position of TVET, employment opportunities and migration in the livelihood strategies of youth in Gulu, Lira and Mwoya District, Northern Uganda
There is much discussion on the relation between migration, education and employment possibilities in developing countries. What is this relation? And how should organizations and institutions that work on improving the livelihood of the youth in developing countries relate to the political agenda of mitigating (international) migration? This research adds an empirical case study to this puzzle by focusing on the position of TVET, employment opportunities and migration in the livelihood strategies of youth in Gulu, Lira and Nwoya District, northern Uganda. By means of identifying why some youth migrate, and some stay put, this research contributes to a better understanding of how TVET and employment opportunities affect livelihood strategies of youth and drive migration. Information is gathered through semi-structured interviewing, focus group discussions and informal conversations during three months of field research. The main findings show that following TVET, or finding a job, does not stop youth from migrating elsewhere. It also reveals the important role of perceptions in a decision of youth – how they are generally looking for a ‘better life’. The findings are not only of societal relevance, but hold academic relevance as they highlight the relevant decision to take youth as a unit of analysis. Key words: Youth, livelihood strategy, migration, TVET, employment, northern Uganda.
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