By Oumie Bojang
The National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) has on Tuesday recruited the 14th batch of 134 including 5 hard-of-hearing corp members from different administrative areas of the country for a two-year skills acquisition training programme fully funded by the government.
NYSS aims to empower young people to create avenues for them to develop skills acquisition and business training to enable them to become self-employed and productive citizens.
The programme was held at the Independence Stadium attended by government officials, dignitaries, parents, and well-wishers of the recruits.
Gibril Ngorr Secka, representing the Minister of Youth and Sports, said the program is in line with the overall strategic objective of the national development strategy for youth. He said it aims to enhance the skills and capacities for sustainable livelihood, address unemployment and also serve as catalysts for socio-economic development.
He added skills acquisition is one of the most essential trades vital for national development. “I hope the enthusiasm shown by Gambians willing to learn skills will be matched with resource availability in building an enterprising young population,” he said.
Alhajie Kebbeh, chairman board of directors, said the recruitment was done by governors, chief executive officers of area councils to identify young people willing to learn skills for employment and self-employment.
He therefore challenged the recruits to take training with utmost commitment.
Ismaila Ceesay, principal of Insight Training Center, said the relevance of skills in economic development, Africa is ranked the least skilled continent in the world.
He added that the inadequate industry-relevant skills constrains the transformation of Africa’s economy and limits inclusive growth and shares prosperity.
“In this regard, there is a need to address the challenge of skills mismatch, which affects productivity and value addition due to weak leakage between the education system and labour market”.
Dodou Loum, director of the Gambia deaf and hard of hearing, expressed delight over the NYSS recruiting 5 members from his association. He said equipping youth with vocational skills means providing employment opportunities for them, increasing their independence and self-reliance.