The Ministry of Youth and Sports, through the National Youth Council (NYC) and the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSS), has sent six Gambian youths to Burkina Faso for training at the Ziniare Vocational Training Centre.

The youths will engage in a month-long skills training on auto-mechanic, refrigeration and air-conditioning. The participants have already left the country to join their counterparts from other Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries. 

This training is being organised by ECOWAS and member countries to enhance capacities of young people in West Africa for their effective participation in the productive sectors of the economy.

“The programme aims to reduce youth unemployment within the sub-region through the provision of necessary and relevant skills, entrepreneurship and youth enterprise development with a view to transforming beneficiaries to job creators,’ the executive director of the NYC, Lamin Darboe, told the Daily Observer Sunday.

The training, he said, also recognises the crucial role of the private sector in youth employment creation and the numerous opportunities that continue to exist for the entrepreneurs in the sub-region.

“Engaging, training and supporting youth to harness those opportunities will go a long way towards curtailing youth unemployment and the migration of youth to Europe by any means necessary,” he added. 

Darboe said the six Gambian participants would be among 59 alumni students  of the ECOWAS training programme to which the National Youth Council and National Youth Service Scheme have sent participants since 2007. 

This set of young people, he went on, will attend the training programmes in the areas of agriculture at the Songhai Centre in Benin; building electricity at the Soufouroulaye Skill Centre in Mali; auto-mechanic, refrigeration and air-conditioning at Ziniare Vocational Training Centre in Burkina Faso respectively, under the coordination of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment.  

“This is the 15th training the ECOWAS Youth and Sports Development Centre has embarked on since 2007 and 3rd edition of the Burkina Faso capacity-building programme at the Ziniare Vocational Training Centre, organised by the ECOWAS/YSDC that Gambian young people have benefited from,” he concluded.