Aug 12, 2008, 5:24 AM
youth form the bulk of returnees and potential migrants in The Gambia. One of
the underlying causes of irregular migration in the country is the lack of job
opportunities, especially in rural regions. While job availability is without a
doubt, scarce in the country, the absence of a clear tool to access job
information hinders youths’ access to jobs.
Based on these reasons, Gamjobs in partnership with International Trade Center (ITC) through the Returnees’ Integration Enhancing through coaching and job placement (RESTART) project, recently organized a two-day campaign and awareness-raising on job information for returnees in Farafenni and Soma, dubbed: tour4jobs. The events were held on 26th and 27th February respectively.
Both events brought together returnees, employers and local government institutions, NGOs and parastatals to deliberate on how to increase access to jobs especially for returnees in rural Gambia, notably in NBR and LRR regions, which of recent have experience lot movement of young people through the back –way.
Chief executive officer of Gamjobs, Ebrima Dem delved on the important role Gamjobs plays in enhancing and ensuring easy access to job and job information. He informed the gathering that even though over 1000 people got jobs through Gamjobs platform, many people who lacked access to the internet and knowledge on how to write a good CV continue to find it difficult to make best use of the platform.
He said as a social responsibility, Gamjobs deemed it necessary to support returnees in rural Gambia to access job information through the RESTART project, saying through the project, over 48 returnees are able to get jobs which without the project intervention, they may likely still be unemployed.
“Access to decent jobs is a right that every citizen has to have, irrespective of their social status or education level, Gamjobs found is relevant to support these people in their job search efforts.”
Dembo Kambi, chairperson of the National Youth Council said youth constitute a proportional percentage of The Gambia’s population and yet most of them remain unemployed, stressing the concern of the National Youth Centre on youth unemployment.
He said they are ready to partner with anyone to provide meaningful employment to youth. He thanked Gamjobs for creating such a worthy platform and emulating initiative.
Chairman of Kerewan Area Council and the Governor of Lower River Region both dilated on the importance of youth employment and its socio-economic implication.
The influx of returnees into the country without providing or assisting to have any meaningful employment may result in high crime rate in the country. Skills development they said is crucial to the returnee reintegration process
The event was coupled with a presentation session by the RESTART team on CV writing and job searching techniques while the COOPI team presented on self-motivation and counseling.
Returnees showed great interest in the sessions which they say was very essential in preparing them to take advantage of employment opportunities.