By Olimatou Coker
Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) in collaboration with 7 training providers recently handed over 157 sets of toolkits to support the self-employment drives of youth to improve their prospects for gainful employment.
YEP is an EU-funded flagship project of the Republic The Gambia implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in collaboration with the ministry of trade and the Ministry of Youth to improve skills, create jobs, and generate income for Gambia youth.
ITC partners with seven training providers to offer market-led training focused on youth. The training providers are The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), Gambia Telecommunication and Multimedia Institute (GTMI), Real Tech The Gambia, Insight Training Center, Fajara Skills Development Center, Golden Hands Foundation Academy, and Starling Consortium.
The training covered various sectors with growth potential and interesting job opportunities such as construction, tourism, information and communication technologies among others.
Modou Touray, technical adviser International Trade Centre speaking at the handing over held at Insight Training Centre in Sinchu, described Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) as essential to improving employability and creating income and jobs in The Gambia.
Lamin Daffeh, Ministry of Trade, said youth unemployment is on the rise in the country, saying the training will help the government cut the unemployment rate and contribute to the labor force.
Jean Able-Thomas, CEO Fajara Skills Development Centre said the training helped TVET institutions build capacities and up their standards.
She added that the project created tremendous solutions as TVET institutions were struggling as a result of covid-19.
She added that the training has a great impact on youth and will discourage the ‘back-way’ syndrome.
Mrs Able-Thomas said the employment of these youth would contribute to the GDP growth of the country.
She further said that TVET institutions in the country should be encouraged and not discouraged since they are not many.
She further said that YEP is transforming the lives of young people in the country with the number of those undertaking the back-way trip dwindling.
She urged NAQAA to work in partnership with TVET institutions, saying with them they will continue to exist but without them, there would not be NAQAA.
Ismaila Ceesay, principal Insight Training Center said almost all students registered by his institution completed the program and are either employed or self-employed.