The Youth Empowered for Successes (YES) recently held a two-day job fair conference at the Paynesville City Hall in an effort to scout unemployed young people with potentials and skills for the job market.
YES also wants to help the unemployed gain other requisite skills and exposures to make them marketable.
YES is the youth career development and job opportunities department of MERCY CORPS, an international humanitarian non-governmental organization working in the country.
Kula Fofana, Assistant Minister for Youth Development, Ministry of Youth and Sports, said the moment is blessed with opportunities for the youth, but that one’s ability to explore the requisite means to seize those opportunities is what matters.
“Today we are blessed to have technology at our disposal, but many of the young people, particularly in our country, use it only for less important reasons,” Madam Fofana said.
She noted that the Internet is a vast area of opportunities that the young people should take advantage of and “stop dragging themselves into things that will not benefit them.”
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports is seriously working with the private sector to help youth who have gained some skills to get jobs so they may not continue to rely on others before they can make their living,” she pointed out, speaking on behalf of Youth and Sports Minister, Saah N’Tow. “Young people, too, must market themselves accordingly,” she said.
For her part, Gender Assistant at the Messengers of Peace (MOP), Ms. Nusone Perkins, said it only requires courage and a strong determination on the part of young people to bridge the unemployment gap.
“To earn a credential in certain disciplines does not automatically qualify you for a job; you need to be courageous and prepared to face employers’ challenges,” Ms. Perkins said.
She noted that obedience is one of the key factors that account for success. Therefore, young people need to humble themselves at workplaces if they must succeed, she added.
Participant, D. Momo Taylor blamed government for much of the country’s population, the youth, being unemployed. Due to bad labor practices, particularly denying pensioned workers their just and due benefits, many people, including the aged, he said, do not want to retire.
He meanwhile commended YES for the job fair conference and called on the youth to focus and diversify their career orientations so that the job market can absorb them.
MERCY CORPS’ program manager, Nale Crossley, said his institution’s venture into bringing together nearly 500 youth from across Monrovia and its environs is to identify the many challenges the youth are faced with and to design means to help buttress government’s efforts, adding that this is capped by exposing them to potential employers.
“Some of the challenges we have already come across that are directly connected to youth not being employed are the lack of skills in writing their own curriculum vitaes (CV) and having the courage to face employers for jobs, even when they have not called on them for work,” Mr. Crossley noted.
He said YES has tutorial classes for young people who find it difficult to write befitting letters of application and resumes (CVs) and help them find potential employers who will absorb them on the basis of their respective qualifications and competences.
The job fair ended with other speakers, including Deputy Minister of Labor, Augustine Williams, providing their ideas on how the youth can be assisted to navigate the job market and curtail the high rate of dependency syndrome and excessive crimes in communities across the country.