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Youth employment is critical

Feb 25, 2010, 3:24 PM

The move by the members of the Youth Employment Network (YEN) Gambia Chapter to meet stakeholders such as The Gambia Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) is a step in the right direction.

YEN we learnt works to engage, educate and motivate actors to provide improved employment opportunities for youth.

It also serves as a platform and service provider focusing on policy advice, innovative pilot projects, knowledge sharing, and brokering partnerships.

The network, according to its officials, makes use of its core agency partners' knowhow and resources, and ensures youth participation in delivering its services.

It is true to say that youth employment is one of the current global social challenges that cannot be addressed by only one organization and, therefore, this calls for concerted efforts.

Partnerships like this can indeed make an immense contribution to the struggle.

We also commend the Gambia YMCA for the crucial role they played in restructuring YEN thus giving it a new facelift.

With the caliber of people at the helm of affairs at YEN in the country, we are convinced that they can measure up to expectations.

They are all experienced persons and, of course, exposed to the wider world.

The issues highlighted by the YEN country team are critical and should be supported by all be it government, the private sector and even individuals.

Young people need more jobs to enable them live decent and dignified lives. They need well-paid jobs, especially those of them who have the right skills and qualifications.

When they are employed they would be in a better position to partake in national development. Crime rates and other social vices perpetrated by unemployed youths would also be minimized.

To gain well-paid jobs, our youth must be trained on skills such as carpentry, metal work, plumbing, welding, construction, fishing etc.

We, therefore, need to put emphasis on skills acquisition to address the issue.

People must open more opportunities and create avenues for the young people to explore their maximum potentials. By doing so the dependency ratio would also reduce.

We commend the YEN executive under the leadership of Mr. Abdou Boye for the efforts they are making to ensure that more youths gain employment through their advocacy.