The Assistant Minister for Technical and Vocational Training at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Boakai Jaliebah, has challenged Liberian youth to build their capacity if they should take control of the job market.
Minister Jaliebah threw the challenge on May 15 at the graduation and certification of the Liberia Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) first vocational, entrepreneurship and Life skills training program at its gymnasium on Broad Street.
Minister Jaliebah called on the youths to prepare themselves in schools and vocational institutions to obtain certificate in specific professions for the job market.
According to the Assistant Minister, youth preparation should be a priority to ensure the attainment of the national development agenda to move the country forward.
He emphasized that Liberian youth, who need to go to school or vocational institutions should not hesitate to obtain degrees or certificates, which he observed, is the first line toward opportunity on the job market.
Earlier, Vivian Beh, Project Coordinator, said in 2012, YMCA conducted an assessment in five slum communities, including Slipway, Doe Community, Clara Town, Buzzy Quarters and West Point.
The result, according to Madam Beh, showed increased urbanization-meaning greater numbers of people are now living in slum settlements than ever before, resulting in many being deprived of safe housing and better living conditions, access to water and sanitation and livelihood opportunities.
Hence the YMCA, she said provided a grant from Comic Relief through Y-Care International to implement three years (January, 2013 to December 2015) project in West Point and Slipway.
She said this is being done through the construction of water points/latrines and youth-led health and hygiene training; the establishment/ strengthening of local associations of slum dwellers to enable them better advocate for pro-poor approaches to slum upgrading and development.
“We are pleased to report that 48 young people concluded the process and have been qualified by their trainers to practice their skills; few of them will go through a brief life skills and entrepreneurship training,” she said.
Other area includes the training on advocacy, civic education and budget literacy/monitoring for youth-led advocacy groups; the provision of vocational, entrepreneurship and life skills training and post-training inputs for young people as well as building the capacity of Community Society Organizations (CSOs).
Based on that, 50 beneficiaries were placed at eight training centers to acquire skills in different disciplines.
They include tailoring/interior decoration, cosmetology/hair dressing; catering, electricity and electronics.
As a reward for their commitment, they will receive toolkits as part of their post training support to enable them start their own ventures to improve their livelihoods.
Meanwhile, the YMCA has trained 173 young people of West Point and Slipway in basic advocacy skills, civic responsibilities among others.