By: Ousman Saidykhan
At least 300 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) graduates have been awarded start-up toolkits worth five million dalasis (D5, 000,000) at a ceremony at Sterling Technical Training Centre in Busumbala.
The initiative is supported by the European Union through the Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) and Jobs Skills and Finance Programme (JSF) and Implemented by the International Trade Centre (ITC) in coordination with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment.
The three hundred beneficiaries from across the country have completed the training in TVET and have demonstrated excellence in the course work and are ready to start their businesses.
“Today, we hand over a total of D5 million worth of equipment and tools to 300 graduates from various skills programs. But what is much more important than the value of the toolkits is the value this investment can create for your lives, your families, your communities and ultimately, the Gambia,” said Aisha Sillah, a representative from EU.
Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Gomez applauded the initiative and encouraged the beneficiaries to further their careers and grow their businesses.
“It is not through our voices, but it is through our actions that we value the support. I also encourage you to keep investing in your knowledge and skills to adjust to the environment and take advantage of new initiatives,” Pierre Gomez said.
One beneficiary on behalf of the graduates, Burang Sanneh praised ITC and assured that the toolkits will be put to good use.
Another beneficiary, Samba Sowe said: “I must say, this is certainly a youth empowerment program… We assure you that we will work tirelessly together to make you and the Gambia proud of us.”
International Trade Centre (ITC) launched what they call Skills for Youth Empowerment (SKYE), and this model provides scholarships or training to Youths who are not in education and employment to start their businesses.