Jun 14, 2013, 10:56 AM
The Gambia Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) yesterday began a three-day national youth employment training forum at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi on the theme “Transforming Ideas into Action”.
The training, which brought together young people from all regions of the country, was held to among others indentify employment challenges facing people in The Gambia with a view to devise mechanisms in facilitating its reduction, creating a platform for dialogue between young people (beneficiaries) to influence with potential employment as well as to discuss the critical impact of child labour, low wages and harassment of young people.
In declaring the forum open, Sam B. Thorpe, YMCA director, said the three-day training was part of the last phase of the Big Lottery Funded project.
“The Gambia YMCAs as part of its contribution in strengthening and supporting the youth employment crusade in The Gambia is very optimistic that the already mobilised efforts will yield greater dividends,” said the YMCA director.
In articulating the issues raised in the National Youth Policy and the National Youth Profile, he notes, concerted efforts are needed through a strategic joint intervention of all youth organizations.
The YMCA director said further that the theme was another platform that would usher in open discussion and sharing of ideas for the way forward.
The just-concluded YMCA summit highlighted a lot of challenges and opportunities facing young people in terms of employment, he said.
“Efforts are ongoing for the organization of the first national youth enterprise trade fair, which will serve as a springboard for showcasing and creating market for young entrepreneurs,” added Mr Thorpe.
He also challenged the participants and encouraged them to use the platform to share, learn and interact in the spirit of youth development.
Speaking earlier, Joseph Peacock, project coordinator of YMCA BLF project, said that over the years the Gambia YMCA has championed youth enterprise and economic justice issues with particular emphasis on vocational skills training, entrepreneurship and micro-finance support to the youth.
He added that their programmes are geared towards the holistic development of young people to be responsible citizens in the country.
According to him, they have been trying to study the problems young people are facing and will continue the effort at engaging partners for the holistic development of young people in The Gambia to create a more friendly environment for them.
He also used the platform to encourage young people to generate ideas from the forum and build on the momentum to improve themselves.