President Barrow Friday launched the national youth service graduate programme at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.
The programme, being implemented by National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) in partnership with the University of The Gambia, is funded by government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
It recruited 100 young graduates from the UTG who will be serving one-year internship in various institutions in the country.
The programme is designed to provide the young people the opportunity to have job experience, skills, and employment.
Addressing the gathering, President Barrow said:”Our dear young people, understanding that more than 63 percent of our population is under the age of 35, my government has, since its inception continued to devise strategies to empower and create opportunities for youth, both in terms of education, training, and sports”.
He said his government is aware of the realities on the ground, and the need to create more job opportunities for the youth.
“We are also mindful of the fact that the youths are the backbone of any nation and that is the more reason government is working tirelessly in making sure that the they gain meaningful employment in this country,” he said.
Bakary Badjie, minister of youth and sports said the graduate programme is designed to empower young people and avail them opportunity to serve their country as well as create a pathway for knowledge building, skills acquisition and employment opportunity.
“You been the first batch means you will serve as the ambassadors of this programme so its success will largely depend on how well you do at the places you are going,” he told the graduates.
The minister told the graduates that the idea of the youth service scheme is a luxury. “You shouldn’t be expecting to go in just to have a good time. It is a period for you to use as a learning call for you to be able to understand that civil service is for those who are dedicated, committed and ready to serve the people,” Minister Badjie advised the young grandaunts.