Funded under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the Skills for Youth Employment (SkYE) fund is a result-based competitive funding model that ensures trained graduates meet industry requirements in the case of self employment, successfully meet market opportunities.
The third phase of the SkYE project is expected to sponsor new technical and vocational training opportunities for 860 Gambian youths, who are not in employment, education or training, and youths and women interested in enhancing their skills.
At the launch, Mod Secka, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST), underscored the importance skills development in the development of any country.
PS Secka revealed that the TVET sector is the bedrock for employment and growth.
“The National Development Plan prioritises the creation of a skills-based economy that will serve as a catalyst for job creation, value addition and sustainable economic development.”
“Under the SkYE Fund, the resources for skills training are tied directly to employment targets. The SkYE model also allows us to invest in quality training and decentralised training opportunities across the country.” PS Secka added.
Ridwane Abdul Rahman, programme manager at EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, said since the launch of the project in 2018, two cycles of TVET scholarships have been rolled out.
“As part of the first cycle, 804 youths graduated from skills trainings. 500 jobs were created and 158 young Gambians were supported through the provision of start-up tool kits. As part of the second cycle, 920 young Gambians were enrolled, who are in the process of graduating from the training.”
He revealed that 860 young Gambians will benefit from skills training in different areas, saying the training covers a wide range of areas and responds to current demand and requirements in the labour market.
Modou Touray, technical adviser, who is also monitoring and evaluation specialist at the International Trade Centre, explained that the project, which will be part of the third round of TVET trainings under SkYE, includes a total of twenty- three programs and would be delivered in partnership with 9 TVET institutions.
“Investing in skills and TVET is a very effective strategy to create employment and boost socio-economic development. The results from our previous trainings have shown how the skills have helped young Gambians find jobs and create companies of their own.”
Touray expressed their determination to keep on supporting the TVET sector, pointing out that they are also piloting the formalised apprenticeship programmes that were developed with the help of the sector skills council.