The administrative staff of the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Kakata, Margibi County, has begun job readiness training local ex-employees of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the institute’s principal and chief executive officer (CEO), Attorney Harry F. Tarnue, has said.
The training is the first of its kind the institute is conducting for the national staff that has virtually phased out from the mission. The training will last for at least four weeks and has brought together 229 UNMIL Liberian personnel who were employed based on their respective apprentice skills.
According to Tarnue, training of UNMIL local staff became necessary to make them “job marketable” as the mission now phases out.
The training is called the ‘National Certification Program’ (NCP) “at the end of which BWI will award them certificates of proficiency that they can use to look for jobs.”
Fifteen facilitators are conducting the training in different vocational courses, including plumbing, drafting, electronics, carpentry and masonry.
“Each of the 229 local UNMIL staff that BWI is training were employed and had worked with the mission for several years. They now have advanced job experience, but they need certificates of proficiency. That is where BWI fits in…to train and award it to them,” Mr. Tarnue explained.
He said BWI won the training contract after it attended UNMIL’s last job fair and submitted a proposal which was accepted after the Mission published the term of reference.”
“We won the training contract based on our core competency to train middle-level technicians, which was done according to the bid we submitted,” Mr. Tarnue said.
Meanwhile Phase One of the training, which included employees of the Facility Management (FM) Section of UNMIL, ends tomorrow, Thursday; to be followed by the second phase, which is expected to continue for one month.
FM is an interdisciplinary field devoted to the coordination of space, infrastructure, people and organization, often associated with the administration of office blocks, arenas, schools, sporting complexes, convention centers, shopping complexes, hospitals and hotels. It represents a wider range of activities than just business services, and these are referred to as non-core functions.
In separate interviews, two of the trainees, Jefferson Dopoe and George H. David, said they had acquired 10 years’ job experience with UNMIL.
According to them, the BWI in-service training has adequately prepared them for the job market for which they were grateful to the administration.
BWI is a public, post-secondary school founded in 1929 as the Booker Washington Agricultural and Industrial Institute. It was the country’s first agricultural and vocational school. BWI was founded with assistance from Americans and is named after American educator Booker T.
Washington. Since that time, the institute has remained Liberia’s premier technical and vocation training school for middle-level technicians.