May 8, 2009, 6:22 AM
The National Council of The Gambia Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) on Saturday 1st May 2010, held a forum on employment known as National Youth Bantaba (forum), at the Friendship Hostel in Bakau.
The event, which was part of the activities marking the International Workers Day, was centred on the theme "Employment and Sustainable Livelihood ... Creating Young Entrepreneurs."
Speaking at the occasion, the Speaker of the National Assembly Honourable Elizabeth Renner elaborated on the legislations that support/promote youth employment in The Gambia.
She used the opportunity to advise young people to, among other things, take their education seriously and acquire skills to be more proactive, as well as to adopt the culture of honesty.
Speaker Renner applauded The Gambia YMCA for creating such a great forum for young people and for their active role in empowering the youths.
Addressing the participants, The Gambia YMCA BLF Project Coordinator, Mr. Joseph Peacock reiterated his organisation’s commitment in empowering the youths.
Presenting a paper on the topic: "The Scourge of Youth Migration," Mr. Alieu Jammeh, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Youths and Sport, said that young people has in recent years become victims of the growing menace. "Hundreds of young people fall victims to the organisers of such dangerous journeys," he lamented, while encouraging youths to make the best use of the opportunities at their disposal, such as the National Youth Service Scheme and National Enterprise Development Initiative.
For him, the attributing factors of youth migration are poverty, family pressure, unemployment and the lack of appropriate skills.
The national Bantaba was characterised with question and answer session regarding the challenges facing the youths.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary of the National Youth Council, Marchel Mendy challenged youths to change their attitudes so as to be proactive in their dealings.
The NYC boss further challenged young people not to be selective in searching a job. He encouraged the private sector and other organisations to help create more employment opportunities for young people.
Other speakers included Sambou Barrow of the Ministry of Trade and Employment.
Meanwhile, youths at the forum demanded for a decent job for every person above the age of 18 years.