Access to skills training is transforming
life of the young people in The Gambia.
Serrekunda, KMC, The Gambia- Samsideen Bojang a 22 year old young man is
from Serekunda, one of the most populous towns in The Gambia. He hails
from a poor family whose entire livelihood depends on farming. At some point
he had to fetch firewood which he sells to local bakeries in order to pay for his
school fees. Just like many young youth in Serrekenda, Samsideen was
unemployed and paying school fees was always a challenge for his parents.
In an interview with Samsideen at the Shaikh Mahfouz Institute by GAMJOBS,
Samsideen said: ‘‘with my background, securing a job was proving to be a very
difficult challenge. Thankfully, with the intervention of GAMJOBS through its
skills development programme, I was privileged to be included in the Building
Construction module for a period of Six (6) months (July – December 2009).
The GAMJOBS Project came into existence following Government’s
recognition of acute problem of unemployment affecting young people of The
Gambia. While its overall objective is to facilitate the development of a skilled,
versatile, dynamic and efficient workforce, and create opportunities for wage
and self-employment in the formal and informal economy, it has developed a
Micro and Small Enterprise Policy as well as established various institutions for
technical and vocational trainingand other support services.
This has provided an enabling environment for technical education, skills
development and the training of the country’s human resources for national
development in order to close the gap between the mismatch of skills relative
to those required in the Gambian labour market. Indeed, skills and
employability are critical for individuals and the labour force and defines their
competencies and capacity to take a job and/or create wealth, and adapt to
the changes in the labour market, dictated by technology and globalization.
Therefore investing in knowledge and skills is one of the most effective means
of enhancing the employability of the poor to participate in growth and create
wealth. With this in mind, Gamjobs has been supporting TVET institutions such
as the National Training Authority, the Sheikh Mahfouz Institute and Insight
Training institute to impart skills to various target groups. Several youths
(1500) from the greater Banjul area have benefitted from this programme and
the programme also aims to target youths in the rural areas.
In 2009, Gamjobs sponsored Samsideen Bojang to pursue the Building
Construction module for a period of Six (6) months (July – December).
Samsideen pursued his basic and secondary education in Arabic. He attended
the Khalid Bun Walid Arabic School in Gunjur village from 1998 to 2004. He
then proceeded to Tadamun Islamic school where he continued his senior
secondary education from 2005 to 2007. In 2008, he enrolled into Shaykh
Mafous Institute of Professional Studies where he pursued a certificate in
English Proficiency course to improve his communication skills.
“This training helped in boosting my self confidence and affording me more job
opportunities. I have since been working in the areas of Block Production and
Painting. I am now able to generate D500 ($20) to D1500 ($60) a week. With
this income, I am able to relieve my father from shouldering the expenses of
running the home. More importantly, I have since stop depending on handouts
“With the training that I received, I also make savings for the family from
monies that would have been otherwise spent on basic building maintenance.
My long term plan is to establish a partnership business with a friend through
which I can continue to improve on my skills and still generate income for
sustenance. GAMJOBS intervention will continue to have a lasting impact in
my life. I wish the same opportunity would be extended to other youths in the
country.’’ he said.