trade minister Dr. Isatou Touray last Wednesday presided over the launching of
skills for youth employment fund at the coastal community of Bakau.
The fund is developed under the Youth Empowerment project (YEP). The National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) and the International Trade Centre (ITC) will jointly operate it.
The launching of the skills fund will also provide an opportunity to inform young people, employers and industries on the possibilities for new training opportunities the project will bring.
Dr. Touray said the fund is a result-based competitive funding model that will ensure critical importance of training youth to meet existing job needs or in the case of self-employment to successfully meet market opportunities. “The fund aimed to equip 1,000 Gambian youth with market relevant technical and vocational skills in partnership with local training institutions,” she noted.
The trade minister said skills training for employability are a critical element in supporting and accelerating development, inclusive growth and poverty reduction through economic transformation and job creation. “Formal vocational training and new forms of skills development should equip people with the skills to enable them to get good jobs and to face the key challenges posed by globalisation,” she stated.
According to her, the fund will help to equip people with knowledge, knowhow, skill and/or competences required in various occupations or more broadly in the labor market for the jobs of today and tomorrow.
She said for sustainable development to be achieved, there is need to recognise that universal primary education cannot be viewed in a vacuum but entails the need for coherent pathways to further education and to acquire skills for employment and self-employment.