Liberia: 'We Must Provide Job Opportunities for Young People'

... Coordinator For TVET

Joseph Parker, Coordinator for Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) at the Ministry of Education, has asked authorities of government ministries and agencies to absorb young people into their respective agencies.

Speaking over the weekend at the regional Meeting of Kids' Education Engagement Project (KEEP) in Monrovia, Parker also called on private entities to began absorbing young people into their different programs.

KEEP is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) funded by the Danish Government. It provides skills training for young people and placed emphasis on promotion of literacy. The group also works with local organizations providing computer literacy for youth people in Liberia.

The regional meeting brought together KEEP's facilitators, trainees and interns.

Parker stressed the need for young people to get on the job training from KEEP and other organizations as a means of building their capacities and underscored the need for government to help provide employment opportunities for young people.

Mr. Parker at the program observing while the KEEP training is ongoing.

He said the provision of jobs to young people would motivate the Danish Government to provide additional support for the continuation of the KEEP's program.

"Let's make sure after training, our young people should get the jobs," he added.

KEEP's Program Coordinator, Desmond Samuels, told Daily Observer in an exclusive interview at the end of the regional meeting that the program seeks to make young people self-reliant and prepare for the job marker.

"We believe if you do not have skills training, it would be very difficult to get employment," Samuels said.

The program is a four year pilot project that is currently in seven counties. Phase-one, which was an awareness component of the project, has ended while Phase two, which is the skills training component, is on-going.

Samuels said the Danish government is funding the project because survey shows that Liberia is making significant progress in sustaining the peace, citing the conducts of the free, fair elections and the subsequent peaceful transition of power.

According to him, the survey pointed out that there is inequality- which the survey describes as a serious risk.

"The report shows that the gap between the rich and the poor is high," Samuels indicated.

Samuels noted that for the Danish Government, the project is aimed at closing the gap thereby providing skills training for young people, including the less privileged and members of the disabled community.

Mr. Samuels said the project also focuses on youth engagement through meaningful ways, including changing their perceptions about land rights, gender, youth engagement, and education.

Mr. Samuels said the program will collaborate with organizations and institutions that are involved in youth engagement or youth empowerment to help in making it successful. According to him, KEEP has opened 15 reading facilities in seven counties in Liberia since its establishment in 2014.

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