Vice President Joseph N. Boakai says it is indisputable that the growth of any society largely depends on the collective skills, knowledge and other intangible assets of individuals that can be harnessed to create economic value toward capital development.
Speaking Friday, August 5, during the official launch of the Center for Career Development or CCD held at the Monrovia City Hall in Sinkor, Vice President Boakai noted that soft skills development is a key component for workforce enhancement, indicating that all of these make up the pursuit of said visionary center.
Ambassador Boakai added that such idea is highly laudable, particularly its implementation in a nation such as Liberia that stands in so much of avenues to advance educational opportunities and help push back unemployment.
He said the magnitude of Liberia’s dilemma of skills deficit and employment needs has been articulately unveiled with statistics putting the country’s population said to be employed at approximately 77 percent, while the youth population, is considered vulnerably employed( unsustainable jobs) because of the level of preparedness.
He emphasized that report of high illiteracy rate in Liberia is disappointing with most multinational companies and organizations conducting activities here constantly hiring foreign experts for positions that Liberians could otherwise perform.
The Liberian Vice President pointed out that the justification that has been used sometimes passing for an understandable excuse is that most of the interested Liberians do not have the requisite skills or expertise for the available positions.
He said in order to address such bleak future, government should emphasize soft skills development that has been underscored in most employed circles as one of the competitive factors for employability globally.
According to the VP Boakai, Liberia’s current educational system does not give much emphasis to developing soft skills, so deficit has resulted in a significant number of educated citizens with limited soft skills for employment.
The Vice President disclosed that with the increase of private companies here both foreign and local, and a desire to grow the private sector and the Liberian economy as a whole, it is imperative that emphasis be placed also on soft skills development alongside the traditional higher education.
He added that there is an obvious need for human capacity development in Liberia, emphasizing periodic training and refresher programs in specific disciplines, especially in collaboration with the vulnerably employed population and low productive capacity.
He described the career development center concept as a noble initiative in Liberia human capacity building, particularly in a country which has such huge army of unemployed and vulnerably employed.
“We welcome this hopeful new approach to tackling our most pressing national dilemma in the area of youth skills building,” said Ambassador Boakai. Also speaking at the launch, Lofa County Senator George Tengbeh lauded Vice President Boakai for gracing the ceremony, noting this indicates that indeed the institution will shortly start achieving its visionary goal.
Senator Tengbeh said the youth some time blame the 14 years bloody civil war in the country for negatively impacting their future, but the war ended more the 10 years ago so it was about time to redirect their minds to positive activities and push back the negatives.
By Zee Roberts-Editing by Jonathan Browne