The Fajara Skills Development Centre (FSDC) on Saturday held its 9th graduation ceremony for 150 students at the school's grounds in Fajara.
Speaking on the occasion, the centre's proprietress Jean Able Thomas described the day as a moment for stock aking and reflection for the way forward in the lives of the youth in The Gambia.
The graduation was historic in the annals of the training institute as all the graduands have successfully completed the rigorous academic programme through which they have acquired skills in various fields including hairdressing, tailoring, sewing, cookery among others, Mrs Thomas said.
"What we are witnessing today was a fusion of collaborative efforts from different organizations such as the Gamjobs, NTA, UNDP, AECID and the Government of Spain," she added.
She added that over the years, her skills centre has worked in close collaboration with these stakeholders, while saluting all those institutions for their partnership.
"This indeed is quite sad: we part never to meet again and at other times we part to meet again and again on the journey of life and I hope and pray that yours would enable you to meet again and again in the diverse of fields of activities you find yourselves in," she said.
Mrs Thomas said the graduands are part of the trailblazers of her institution and the world outside would see them as mirrors reflecting what type of institution FSDC is. "This is a noble, but challenging responsibility," she noted.
"The way you comport yourselves and the achievements you will make, will no doubt have an effect on FSDC."
Naffie Barry, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Employment and Regional Integration, who was the guest speaker of the occasion, dilated on the significance of skills acquisition.
The youth of the country are a top priority of the government, especially in the area of skills development, Mrs Barry said.
"Most of the skilled areas are mainly dominated by foreigners but if we invest in the youth and women we will become economically self-sufficient," she said.
She further harped on the significance of the disabled in the country's skills sectors, saying they have shown how vital they are for the socio-economic advancement of the country.
PS Barry urged other skills centres in the country to emulate FSDC by enrolling more disabled persons into their training programmes.