By Ndey Sowe
The Jobs, Skills and Finance, in partnership with the TAF Africa Foundation, has launched the first formal apprenticeship programme in masonry for young Gambians, including women.
The launching ceremony took place on Tuesday, 6th April, 2021, at the TAF Africa Foundation Hall at Madiba Mall, Brufut Garden.
The “Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth in The Gambia” Programme is funded by the 11th European Development Fund and implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC).
The targeted beneficiaries are youth and women in rural Gambia (North Bank Region, Lower River Region and Central River Region).
Yusupha Keita, Technical Advicer and Coordinator for Jobs, Skills and Finance at the Intentional Trade Center (ITC), said the day marks a new era and the continuous drive for the transformation of TVET in The Gambia.
He said it is the beginning of innovation solutions to skills development in The Gambia.
“Apprenticeship started with a master craftsperson passing their knowledge to an apprentice and has been proven centuries ago that it works and it is both impactful and transformative,” Keita said.
“With time the model has been used worldwide as a catalyst for job creation and industrial development and continues to be a central pillar of development today.”
Keita said apprenticeship is not and should not be seen as an option for those who cannot take an academic route, but should be recognized as an effective way to develop successful careers.
Ya Bajen Njie, General Manager for TAF Africa Global, said the founder and CEO of TAF is a strong advocate of apprenticeship and has worked for 13 years with reputable international construction companies before he set up his own company in 1990.
She therefore thanked the ITC, the Ministry of Education and all other partners and wished participants the best of luck.