Skills development fund secretariat holds sensitization workshop

By Mohamed Konneh

Grant Specialist Salieu Barrie making his presentation

With support from the World Bank, the Sierra Leon Skills Development Fund Secretariat in collaboration with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education on Tuesday 22nd June held a sensitization workshop geared towards educating businesses, skills developers and the public about the fund.

The fund provided by the by the government of Sierra Leone through the World Bank is to develop skills of young people in the country.

The objective of the project the TVET Director in the Ministry of Higher and Technical Education, Dr. Victor Massaquoi said in the last thirty years r so the country has had several trainings but there is nothing to show for it.

Dr. Masaquoi asked several questions is where we are as country despite these trainings and several skills development projects over th years.

He said in 2018 the Sierra Leone government some analysis on skills gaps in the country. The study reveals that dozens of young people lack the requisite skills for the job market and reason a number of them were unemployable.

“Most young people lack technical skills and this is couple with our curriculums both in schools and tertiary institutions. The curriculum we operate is not up to standard and these were among the study result that was done. We also have fragmented TVET training before now and that this project is geared addressing these gaps, he said.”

Dr. Massaquoi said if young people are not developed, build their capacity, this country will not progress.

He said the project will training young people in five areas noting the area of agriculture and Agro Business is key in this project.

“When we are able feed and grow our own food we will be self sufficient. This project is also about giving out information, he said.

The Skills Development Fund Secretariat Assignment Manager, Peter M Kaindaneh in his statement said this project was born out of a discussion between the government of Sierra Leone and the World Bank.

He said the first component of the project is skills development and this will be followed by capacity building and system strengthening.

Mr. Kaindaneh said the fund is provided to help to help develop skills of young people in the country.

“If we are unable to develop skills of our young people we will be going nowhere as a country. If we produce a carpenter, that carpenter must be able to meet international standard, he said.”

Salieu Barrie is the Grant Specialist and his presentation highlights key issues pertaining to the project grant.

He said the object of the grant is to stimulate competition an delivery of innovative programs, Offering and promoting collaboration between enterprises and training centers and institutions.

He said the targeted sectors include Agriculture/Agro Businesses, mining and Extractives, renewable energy.

He said the skills development has two windows, catering for different target groups.

“Window e will support improvement of the quality and relevance  of formal and non-formal TVET  and window two will address skills gaps and kills shortage experienced by private enterprises  in the formal  and informal  sectors  of the economy, he said.’’

He said the training provider is eligible if is either registered public or private or non-profit entity, evidenced by an up to date certificate of registration.

This funding provided by the World Bank will soon call for concept notes which will b followed full blown proposal. A total of eight thousand young people are set to benefit from the skills development thereby building their capacity.

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