It was a joyous day in the lives of some youths in Paynesville outside Monrovia, after they received certificates for the completion of a three months apprenticeship training from mercy corps at the Paynesville youth opportunity center.
Giving an overview of the training, Mercy Corps Program Manager Nyema J. Richards says, the prospect apprenticeship training was phase three of the exercise, intended to add values to young people in the country.
He says Prospects apprenticeship Batch 4 started as far back as March 5, 2019.
Speaking to this paper at the conclusion of the certification program, Mercy Corps Project Coordinator for the Paynesville Youth Opportunity Center, Alex W. Debee explains, the training was meant to empower the youth to enable them make impact in their various communities.
He says the apprenticeship program has three objectives, including Employment and Entrepreneurship, Work Readiness Training, and Lives Skill Training, respectively.
He continues that the training is being done in three different forms, including building their capacity to enable them apply for job, while under the Entrepreneurship program, beneficiaries are trained in business knowledge and given small grant to help them start their own business.
Mr. Debee further explains the Apprenticeship program places youth in on the job training for three months after which they are dispatched to various businesses, “but before that we did pre-deployment training like leadership, work ethics, among others.”
“We started with 59 people, but some dropped due to personal reasons, and today we are certificating 30 persons who went thru after they have completed the week- long training, among them are 20 females, and 10 males.”
He notes that the exercise is an urban youth livelihood program with a mission to empowering young Liberians to find meaningful market-drive employment, or self-employment through increase skills, self-confidence, and economic opportunity.
“If you look at this country, young people make up huge portion of the population, and the unemployment rate is high; it is against this backdrop that Mercy Corps though it wise to provide these trainings and the objective is to provide basic employment skills for young people”, he reiterates.
Keynote speaker Ms. Janice Love Bropleh, who is also CEO of L’ Afrik Polis Fashion, encourages the graduates to apply the relevant skills acquired in order to make an impact in their various communities, and society at large.
Speaking on the topic, “How Ready are you for Job”, she reminds the graduates that before they go out to seek for jobs, they should know what interest them and what skills they bring to the workplace.
‘It is not about the money, don’t attach yourself to any amount especially, when you cannot make an impact at any work place, because most jobs cannot give you the amount you want but experiences”, says Ms. Bropleh.
Meanwhile, one of the beneficiaries who receive certificate in apprenticeship, Ms. Laytopoe L. Dahn expresses delight over the training, and extends gratitude to Mercy Corps for the opportunity.
Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians that partner with communities, corporations and governments to transform lives around the world.This project is sponsored by the Swedish Embassy here in Monrovia.
By Lewis S. Teh–Editing by Jonathan Browne