By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
The Youth Empowerment Project in partnership with the National Youth Service Scheme under the Ministry of Youth and Sports has launched an accelerated apprenticeship training programme for youth under the age of 18-35 targeting 150 young people across the country.
The skills training areas include plumbing, rice agronomy, tailoring, brick laying and auto-mechanic/auto electrical.
The apprenticeship programme will involve a combination of theory, training and practical at a period of 6 months at NYSS.
In his statement Mr. Fanding Kinteh, principal assistant secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports said NYSS is one of the satellite institutions of national significance where government crusade for practical youth development and empowerment is carried out.
“We as a government have a moral duty and responsibility to care about our young people and address their issues as a strategy for dealing with various problems affecting our youth, including youth poverty resulting from many demographic, youth poverty resulting from many demographic, economic and social factors,” he said.
According to Mr. Kinteh, unemployment, particularly among young people, is a large and growing problem in many countries including The Gambia.
“Creating more and better employment opportunities for young people is not only a way of poverty reduction but also an investment in our common future.
“With the Ministry of Youth and Sports we assure you, that we see the NYSS as place of hope for young people of this great nation and we share the yearning and aspirations of our new government, in their commendable drive to build a u united, progressive, egalitarian, hate-free and stable nation, that all Gambians and indeed the whole of African and the entire good people of the world, will be proud of,” he assured.
He thanked the international trade centre and YEP team for responding to the need of the young people through this project.
Madhu Fernando from International Trade Centre said ITC is a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the United Nations. “ITC assists small and medium sized enterprises in partner countries to become more competitive in global markets, thereby contributing to sustainable economic development within the framework of the Aid-for-trade agenda and the Global Goal for sustainable Development medium.”
Emmanuel Mendy, executive director NYSS described the event as very important for young people particularly those that complete grade 12 and 9 and cannot climb the economic ladder.
According to him, the project aims to support young people across the country for a sustainable livelihood, noting that since NYSS was created they have been supporting youths at skill of their choices.
During the training period he said the beneficiaries will be provided will all the materials needed during the course with transport allowances and other incentives.
He called on the private sector in the country to emulate YEP in such youth empowerment, adding that the people of this country are ready and willing to learn skill, for socio-economic development.