A program intended to provide job and technical skill training have being launched in the country.
Speaking recently in Monrovia at the program marking the official launch of the Youth Apprenticeship & Empowerment Program the Executive Director of the Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development (COYPED), Mr. James Koryor said that the program is a joint initiative of COYPED and the Liberia Carpenters Union (LCU).
Mr. Koryor who is also the coordinator of the Youth Apprenticeship & Empowerment Program also stated that the goal of the program is to reduce unemployment by providing access to on the job training by acquiring technical skills and the program targets three thousand (3000) disadvantaged youths ages 18-35 years with little or no education with a focus on motor cyclists, ex-combatants, car loaders and street sellers in Montserrado, Bong, Margibi and Grand Bassa Counties.
The YAEP coordinator furthered stressed that the program is built on the fact that since the end of the war, dozens of international NGOs, local NGOs and private training firms have been providing various combinations of education, training and micro/small business services to war-affected populations, but avowed that many of these donor-funded programs were designed quickly in the rush to “keep the youth busy” in the immediate post-conflict environment. But few have been able to provide a comprehensive package that ensures adequate linkages among available services over time. As a result, many service providers complain that their success rate in connecting trainees to sustainable employment has been disappointing. In many cases, skills training were provided by NGOs without previous experience in TVET, who found only limited success.
Mr. Koryor also expressed disappointed in the Ministry of Youth & Sports for not attending such a program at this time when the empowerment of Liberian youths is at the epic center of youth development in the country and use the occasion to call on donor organizations, the Government of Liberia and all well-meaning Liberians to support the initiative in order for the program to be fully implemented stating that currently we do not have any funding source or donor commitment.
Addressing trainers, trainees and guests at the program held at the YMCA gymnasium, the Assistant Minister for Trade Union Affairs at the Ministry of Labor, Mr. Michael Wah commended COYPED and LCU for the initiative and cautioned the trainees to be focus and take the training serious.
Assistant Minister Wah furthered stressed that there is a need for Government to strengthen and prioritized the cadet program that has the propensity to create jobs and prepare youths for the job market.
The former FLY executive also inform the gathering that unemployment is a global problem and therefore youth should now focus on technical skill in order to be self-reliant.
Also speaking at the program, the director for vocational education at the Ministry of Education who represented the Assistant Minister for Vocational Education expressed gratitude on behalf of the Education Ministry and commended the initiators of the program and called on trainees to take advantage of the opportunity that have being afforded them by COYPED and LCU.
For his part the acting President of the Liberia Carpenter Union, Mr. Edward F. Sherrif thank the guests for gracing the occasion and called on the trainers to be committed to the program stating that they will be responsible to build the capacities of the youths who have been recruited for the training.
The LCU boss furthered re-affirmed his organization commitment to the MOU signed in November 2012 for a joint implementation of the program and promise his partner Consolidated Youth for Peace & Development that LCU trainers will do their best to ensure that the program is successful.
The veteran carpenter also stressed that if the program is to be far reaching and sustainable there is a need for government to come in and join COYPED and LCU in providing necessary financial and technical support.
For his part the Enforcement Director at the Real Estate Tax Division at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Lasana A. Kormah, Sr. thank the organizers for such a wonderful program that is aimed at providing technical skill training to less fortunate youths in Liberia especially in carpentry.
Mr. Kromah furthered stressed that carpentry is a unique field and carpenter are highly needed during this time in our country history where reconstruction is the hallmark and used the occasion to caution the trainees to be grateful to COYPED and LCU for the opportunity.
The Ministry of Finance Director also expressed admiration for COYPED and LCU who without donor funding or external support have been able to recruit and mobilized vulnerable and marginalized youth to acquire technical skills training at no cost stating that if donor and the government can come in to compliment your efforts you can do more. He also formally launches the initiative.
The launch of the Youth Apprenticeship & Empowerment Program brought together over two hundred carpenters, trainers, trainees, guests, officials of government, local NGOs and the media.