By Ndey Sowe
The Department of Labour under the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, recently inaugurated the second established Job Center at a ceremony held at the Basse Youth Centre in the Upper River Region (URR).
The building was renovated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the project: “Bridging together youth, diaspora and local authorities for an integrated approach to promote employment and address irregular migration in The Gambia”, which is funded through the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.
Speaking at the event, Deputy Permanent Secretary for Industry, Investment and Employment Hassan Gaye, said the inauguration and opening of the Job Center in Basse could not have come at a better time. He said the facility will enhance and facilitate the linkage of job seekers and potential employers.
He continued: “The enormous benefits that come with this Center cannot be over emphasized. It will help in informed decisions for policy makers to be able to track the number of jobs created at a given time; the level of turnover in the labour market and also real time data of the labour market.”
Sisay Mulatu, Reintegration Officer at IOM, pointed out that the main purpose of the job center is to help people particularly the youth, to find work through services such as local and external job searches to remove the structural employment barriers and promote an open inclusive society.
“It is IOM’s hope that the job center will empower job seekers especially potential migrants, labour migrants and returnees, with practical skills and the right tools to get into the job market or employment service and contribute to local and international development,” Sisay stated.
Nyallow Barrow, Commissioner at the Department of Labour, said the opening of the job center in Basse marks the beginning of their decentralization plan to cover all other regions across the country.
“I wish to inform the youth of the region that the availability of the job center in the area opens an opportunity for you to have access to facilities in search of jobs and therefore we should take good care of it,” he said.
Samba Bah, Governor of URR, noted that the job center is important and timely as it will empower young people to realise their full potential.
“Youth in rural Gambia should be empowered to have equal opportunities with those in the urban area,” Bah said.
Ismaila Badjie, Program Manager at the National Youth Council, pointed out that opportunities like this will help generate revenue as well as create employment for young people.