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Youth Employment Training ends, activists call for more empowerment

Dec 5, 2011, 1:52 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

A three-day National Youth employment training organised by the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) -The Gambia ended last Thursday at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi

The training, which brought together participants from all regions across the country, indentified employment challenges, among other issues, facing people in The Gambia to search for mechanisms in facilitating their reduction.

The training also served as a platform for young people to discuss potential employment opportunities as well as the critical impact of child labour, low wages and harassment of young people.

Speaking at the ceremony, Sam B. Thorpe of the YMCA, said he was proud to see a lot of young people being trained on essential skills by GAMJOBS and NEDI.

This initiative, expected to change the mindset of young people, would help in addressing the lack of employment opportunities faced by mainly the youth.

He encouraged Gambian youths to put more energy and effort in creating their means of livelihood and achieving their aspirations.

“It is a challenge and YMCA wants to take this initiative to a high level with support from partners,” Mr Thorpe said.

At the end of the training, participants from various regions across the country came up with resolutions and recommendations, such as creating self-employment, amendment of the Women’s Act (to revise the country’s maternity leave period and to discourage discrimination in employment for women), strengthening the capacity of labour department to have comprehensive and standard statistics on youth employment and wages, amendment  of the Labour Act to bridge the missing gaps provision of more loan facilities for youths, implementation of the resolutions of the national youth policy, capacity building, micro-finance institutions staffing, and provision of quality skills training for young people.

Earlier on, a panel discussion on the theme youth employment in crisis searching for new paradigm was held.

The panelists included Almamy Taal, CEO of GCCI, Nfamara Jawneh Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Point newspaper and youth activist, and Momodou Sabally, director of Budgeting at the Ministry of Finance.

Njundu Drammeh, National Coordinator of Child Protection Alliance moderated the panel discussion.