The decision by government to throw its full weight on preparing ready-made youth for the competitive job market might not appear loud-sounding but the medium and long-term benefits such a move could generate would leave none or very few indifferent. Education is said to be investment in human capital and when it is job-based, it prepares the learner for the employment market like what Cameroon is witnessing today.
The training centre for water-related fields that is in gestation and whose setup agreement has been signed between the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training and Cameroon Water Utility Corporation is just one among concerted efforts aimed at arming the country's youth with what the job market wants. The latest government move, coming after a series of tours to companies by Employment Minister to incite managers into taking youth-friendly employment measures, lends credence to a strong resolve to break away from a bitter past.
Moving away from a system where an unbridled quest for big certificates and stardom often pushes people to memorise happenings or theories simply to pass an exam even when they cannot do anything would be a good step in the right direction. Learning to recite definitions to pass an exam promotes memorising and not thinking that brings out creativity needed in the job market. The result is having citizens with knowledge which is not useful to society. Such graduates remain liabilities rather than assets that responsible citizens are supposed to be.
Training someone on what he/she can do and which is needed in society prepares such for a better tomorrow where they will feel useful. Like President Paul Biya said in his address to youth on February 10, 2020, "Finding employment, particularly for the youth, remains a cause for concern, because for the time being, there is mismatch between employment demand and supply." There was therefore need to seek workable solutions to bridging the wide gap. The fresh agreement coupled with the recent outings of Employment Minister show that government is making every effort to provide solutions to the stubborn problem of unemployment or underemployment.
This comes to confirm the Head of State's promise to youth that, "Access to vocational training will be improved by diversifying sectors and increasing training in new centres...in a bid to provide youth with quality training that facilitates their integration into working life." Government could still do better, especially with effectively materialising the professional training policy from elementary to higher levels of education.
The structural transformation of the national economy, as contained in the newly flagged off Cameroon's long-term development plan: 2020-2030 National Development Strategy, requires adapted and adaptable human resources at all levels in all domains of national life.