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Sierra Leone News: Empowering middle manpower yields development

manikaThe issue of youth un-employment is becoming one of the biggest problems affecting socio-economic development in Africa and Sierra Leone in particular.
Most people are of the opinion that the crime rate is on the increase because of the high number of unemployed youths who sometimes fail to engage their minds on issues of development but rather want to make money overnight.
Looking at this point on one hand is correct as in most cases young people tend to spend more time discussing at Ataya base, Ghettos about issues that are not relevant to their progress rather than go in search of things that will help improve their lives and society.
Some people will spend the rest of the day discussing in these places and then end up blaming government for not providing them with job opportunities despite their level of academic qualifications, which is also a valid point on the issue. But what have these unemployed educated youths done to engage themselves in some productive issues instead of waiting for white-collar jobs?
In life there must be a starting point which in most cases is very difficult to overcome, but with commitment and perseverance will be a thing of the past and transform the situation to a better one; but most graduates from the University and Colleges find it very difficult to penetrate the employment world because of job preference.
This ugly situation has led to so many unemployed youth graduates roaming the Streets and Roads of African countries with particular reference to Sierra Leone where if not all but over 90 percent of the graduates want to put on suits and work in big offices which are very limited.
This can be a thing of the past within the shortest possible time if and only if the government invests more in the technical vocational institutions across the country. These Institutions need complete overhaul, both in terms of human capacity and equipment.
For instance the Central government and local government of China and Tibet respectively established the Lhasa number 2 Middle Vocational and Technical School which housed about four thousand three hundred and thirty nine (4339) students with about four thousand three hundred (4300) middle School graduates.
According to some of the School Authorities, they need to improve on the educational aspect for development in their society by paying attention to the rural communities.
They maintained that the government is providing subsidies for the school and make available learning materials, food, clothes and allowance for the student who only need to take entrance exams to enter the school after completing their middle school education, whilst illiterate adults are enrolled based on their experience, particularly farmers.
The purpose of the project is to develop the middle level manpower, which they believe, contributes immensely to national development and also as a way of engaging the minds of the young people who are unable to continue with their formal education to the university.
Students were trained on the areas of Tourism, Hotel management, logistics industry, wood work, mason, welding, farming skills among others, disclosing that the School enters into agreement with occupational corporations that end up employing the graduates from their institution.
It was disclosed that one of the techniques used by the government in encouraging more young and elderly people to go for technical education is that upon completion of their studies lucrative salaries are designed for them in their places of work because of their technical ability.
According to most of the students, their first options were to enter the university but with limited resources they decided to divert to the vocational and technical institutions where they are now exhibiting their talents. Those in the logistics department are assembling toy vehicles, and other electronics items.
All the various departments are filled with their necessary technical equipment for practical exercise by the students, a situation that makes them perfect in their various fields of training.
With the available Vocational Technical Institutions across the country, the Government of Sierra Leone can successfully transform the country’s economy by training more technical people that will fill the middle manpower gap in most areas.
If more people are encouraged to enter for technical training and implement the ideas they acquire, this will help transform the country’s economy and also reduce the level of unemployment, which is affecting the country’s development.
The government should try its best in ensuring the proposed Youth Village project becomes a reality, within the shortest possible time to bridge the gap as evident in the Obasanjo Youth Training Center at Newton Waterloo which is an extension of the Youth Commission programs.
The current Minister of Youth who happens to be a youthful man should make use of the opportunity given to him to represent his fellow youths appropriately at this particular time when things are very hard. Remember ‘the idle mind is the devil’s workshop’ the youths need to be engaged for the development of Mama Salone.
By Alhaji M Kamara in Beijing
Tuesday July 19, 2016

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