#Article (Archive)

GTTI battles with retention of Gambian staff

Jan 27, 2011, 9:47 AM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The recruitment and retention of Gambian staff at the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) in some crucial disciplines, such as electronics, accounting, computer networking and architectural draughtsmanship, continue to pose a major problem for the country’s major technical institute, the GTTI annual report of institutional activities for the year 2010 has revealed.

The report, submitted to the Public Accounts/ Public Enterprises Committees of the National Assembly on Monday, highlighted among others, the institute’s plan to continue to create more opportunities for Gambian staff to be trained, particularly in crucial disciplines to the institute.

The revelation came barely two months after the World Bank released a report on remittances sent by migrants to their families in which The Gambia was ranked the country with the second largest rate of skilled emigration in Africa.  

The World Bank report revealed that nationals who attended university and have left their country the most are from Cape Verde (68 per cent), The Gambia (63 per cent), Mauritius (56 per cent), Seychelles (56 per cent), Sierra Leone (53 per cent), Ghana (47 per cent), Mozambique (45 per cent), Liberia (45 per cent), Kenya (38 per cent) and Uganda (36 per cent).

According to the World Bank report, nearly 65,000 Gambians are living outside their country in 2010. “Gambia has the second largest rate of skilled emigration in Africa, with 63 per cent of its tertiary-educated population living outside the country as of 2000,” the World Bank publication stated.

Abdoulie M.A. Loum, Director General of the Gambia Technical Training Institute, who presented his institute’s report before deputies, said: “In view of the ever-increasing number of school leavers and other persons waiting to further their education and training, coupled with the need to provide extra space for the University of The Gambia, the pressure on the existing facilities continues to be enormous.”

According to the GTTI boss, there is an apparent need to provide higher-level training in all the disciplines offered by the institute, particularly in the technical areas. “This is with a view to producing highly skilled workers within the Gambian labour market and thus addressing the skills shortages in certain crucial areas and also making it possible for graduates of the institute to access higher education within the country,” he said.

He added that the “slow pace at which the tertiary integration process is moving in addressing the issue has become an even greater challenge”. As the institute continues to attract more prospective students, he went on, the need for expansion of its facilities has become more apparent. “This is in consideration of the growing number of school leavers demanding for places for further studies and those aspiring for professional development,” he said.

Mr Loum told members of the PAC/PEC Committees that the year under review has been a challenging one as the previous year for the management team. “Notwithstanding, all the difficulties encountered in terms of staff movement and other resource constraints, a lot of success was registered during the year,” he added.