The graduation was held at National Youth Service Scheme premises in Bakau. The two-year training programme attracted youths from the seven administrative regions of the country to acquire skills on Information Technology (IT), Plumbing, hairdressing, catering, carpentry, auto mechanic, livestock, rice production, electrical installation, tailoring, welding and fabrication, horticulture among others.
This group marks the thirteen (13) batch since the commencement of the youth scheme. NYSS primary objective is poised to equip Gambian youth with the requisite skills and knowledge to become productive citizens.
Representing the minister of Youth of Sport, Saikou Sanyang, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youth and Sports said since inception, NYSS has been training youth on gainful skills acquisition to ensure youth sustainable livelihood.
“Since its establishment the scheme has trained five thousand, four hundred and seventy (5470) youth on various life skills. As you graduate today, you are expected to become role models in the area you are serving by contributing to national development.” he told the graduating class.
PS Sanyang noted that government has provided the resource for them to be trained to ensure they acquire the relevant skills. That, he said, is in line with objectives of the National Development Plan.
Mustapha Badjie, deputy director on behalf of the executive director of NYSS, said government has provided resources to train the corps members to ensure they contribute meaningfully to national development such as self-employment and employ others.
The youth, he added, had gone under intensive skills acquisition programme, adding that they were also trained on discipline as foundation to positive living, civic rights, responsibilities of good citizens, government policies and programmes on youth employment and development, leadership and self-employment.
According to him, the 2019 survey conducted by the Ministry of Health and Gambia Bureau of Statistics revealed that the Gambia’s unemployment rate stands at 41%.
Badjie thus called on development partners to support NYSS so that more youth are trained.
Delivering the vote of thanks, Modou Salieu Jallow, corps member commended the government through MOYS for equipping them with the necessary skills.
He added that the skills they acquired would go a long way to enable them contribute meaningfully to national development.
“We have had a successful training programme from NYSS,” he noted.
Jallow however, appealed to government and development partners to provide them with extra support so that they begin businesses on their own.
Anthony G. Mendy, director of Tertiary and Higher Education said: “Government as always, will continue to support NYSS to help youth acquire skills for sustainable livelihood.”
He said equipping youth with skills would help to combat the syndrome of irregular migration to Europe and ensure self-employment.