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‘‘For the country to grow, young people must acquire skills’’- NYSS ED Tells Newly Sworn-in Corps

Mr. Emmanuel Mendy, Executive Director (ED) of Gambia’s National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) posited that the growth and advancement of the country pivots on young people’s acquisition of skills.
The ED made this remark on Monday, October 18th, during the swearing-in of the new batch of corps members for the second Apprenticeship Training Programme (ATP), which totals one hundred and fifty one young people.

The colorful ceremony took the form of a march-off parade by Honorable Minister of Youth and Sports led by the Gambia Police Band at the Scheme’s ground in Bakau. Board members of the NYSS also graced the ceremony.

The National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) is a body answerable to advancing the morale of the youths by giving them the opportunity to learn about higher ideals of national achievement, social and cultural improvement.
The NYSS has the responsibility of providing the youths with marketable skills, so that they may secure employment in both the formal and informal sectors.

Further in his introductory remarks, Mr. Emmanuel Mendy described the day as another milestone in the history of the Scheme, noting that the swearing-in ceremony is part of the fundamental activities of the Scheme, in which the youth take an oath of service to the nation. “It is meant to inculcate the spirit of oneness and sense of commonness with rich cultural and traditional diversity,” he added.

He went on: “The programme will be implemented in partnership with industry players particularly master-craft persons in various skills; such as plumbing, welding, fabricating, tailoring, auto mechanics, carpentry, electrical installations, building construction, catering, hairdressing and beauty therapy, amongst other skill trainings”.

Mendy informed the audience that the corps will undergo training for a period of 24 months following which an assessment will be done in line with the Gambia skills qualification framework for their competencies.

This innovative approach to apprenticeship, he asserted, is meant to formalize and recognize skills and competencies acquired by these young people over a period of two years through on-job training and mentoring.

The 2nd batch of ATP Corp members were recruited throughout the country by the regional committees, chaired and co-chaired by the governors and chief executive officers of the area/ municipal councils in line with the provision of the NYSS Act. This, he pointed out, was to ensure that regional partners take ownership of the process in identifying young people willing to learn skills for employment and/or self-employment.

The NYSS boss thanked the Government of The Gambia, through the Ministry of Youth and Sports, for providing the necessary resources to help them acquire skills for a sustainable livelihood.

Addressing the new members, Mr. Bakary Y. Badjie, Minister of Youth and Sports, assured that the Youth ministry is cognizant of the challenges confronting Gambian youths and that it stands ready to provide the required policy environment and needed funding to support young people “through this most difficult phase of their lives”.

He urged the new batch of ATP to apply their skills and knowledge to serve their community and country.

“The government under the leadership of President Adama Barrow places the issue of youth amongst the highest of his priorities. This is why after assuming office in January 2017 he has taken the task to study and understand the constraint youth face in the country. This, he said was one of the reasons he launched the youth revolving loan and grant scheme amongst others”.

Alagie Kebbeh, chairman of Board of Directors at NYSS called on the new batch to focus on the knowledge to be gained from their trainers and make best use of it.


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