By Kebba Jeffang
Mr. Mamadi Dampha, a senior official at the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment (MOTIE), said the private sector in The Gambia is not expanding in creating job opportunities for the people, especially the young people.
Mr. Dampha said this while addressing conference delegates attending the 2014 NAYCONF at the Jenoi Agricultural Training Center on Tuesday.
The MOTIE official, in his presentation on the Challenges to Youth Employment and Job Accessibility, said in most countries, it is the private sector which is the leading employer and not the government but it is the reverse in the Gambia, adding that the private sector is not expanding in creating a job market in the country.
Mr. Dampha cited the recently launched National Human Development Report which indicates that young people in the country are unemployed, low income earners and unemployable with no or little skills.
He cited the lack of adequate and appropriate technical and IT skills as some of the major contributing factors to the unemployment problem.
Mr. Dampha also noted the limited enrolment capacity of the government owned Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) in the country, adding that the dependency on GTTI is so high. He said this is a big challenge confronting young people in acquiring required knowledge for a better chance of employment.
The Trade and Employment ministry official said the private sector is not venturing into technical education but instead they are more into vocational area. “They focus more on employing the vocational students who are doing certain programmes such as AAT etc. and this is making it hard for those at the technical side,” he said.
He also noted that most of the policies are not synchronised and it is becoming a challenge.
Mr. Dampha recommended for the introduction of entrepreneurship development in the school curriculum to enable students to develop careers at early stages of their education.
He said the young people should be job creators and not job seekers.