The Gambia National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS) on Friday swore-in the 12th Batch of Corp members at a ceremony held at the Independence Stadium in Bakau.
The mandate of the NYSS is to support young people in acquiring skills for employment or self-employment.
Speaking at the swearing in ceremony, Emmanuel D. Mendy, Executive Director of NYSS, said the day marked the closing ceremony of the 12th Batch of Corp members who were recruited throughout the country by regional communities.
The regional communities were chaired and co-chaired by the Governors and chief executive officers of the Area/ Municipal Councils in line with the provisions of the NYSS Act of 2015.
He disclosed that regional partners take ownership of the process in identifying young people willing to learn skill for employment and or self-employment, thereby contributing to the socio-economic development of the country.
"In 2001, a tracer and impact assessment study was conducted and the result showed that there was very high demand from youths who wanted to join the scheme and since then this willingness from youths has not dwindled," he said.
He said the results from the impact assessment proved very positive, especially in the areas of discipline, character and the accelerated rate in which youths acquired relevant employability skills.
Mr Mendy further stated that the 12th Batch of 200 youths comprise 130 males and 70 females between the age brackets 17 and 35 years and were recruited from all the regions.
He said the recruited members who have completed senior secondary school underwent an intensive orientation program for one month where they were exposed to all the skills areas available in the training.
Dawda Ceesay, permanent secretary at the Ministry of Youths and Sports, said unemployment, particularly among young people, is a large and growing problem in many countries including The Gambia.
He assured that the Ministry of Youths and Sports would do everything possible to address these challenges through institutions like the NYSS by providing them with skills for sustainable development.
He informed the gathering that henceforth and through the Ministry of Youths and Sports, NYSS would accelerate this skills acquisition program in order to reach more young people given its importance to socio-economic development.