Liberia’s Youth and Sports Minister Eugene Nagbe has admitted saying government has been carrying out a lot of training of young people here, but has failed to align training with the anticipated jobs on the market.
“Madam President, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, in the past we have been carrying out a lot of training of young people; we have failed to align training with the anticipated jobs on the market. We have not used the labor market information to train people,” Mr. Nagbe bemoan.
He made the confession Wednesday, 18 November at the dedicatory ceremony of a new multi-million dollars Chinese built Monrovia Vocational Technical Center or MVTC in Paynesville with 90 percent of its contractors made of Liberians.
Having received a symbolic key to the facilities from the Chinese authorities here, President Sirleaf said Government looks forward to the training of thousands of young Liberians “at these facilities.”
President Sirleaf said the skills that the young people will acquire will make a big difference in the future but wonder whether the country is able to maintain the developmental pace the government has started as well as maintain the commitment and results of her government’s work.
She acknowledged the anxiety along the way, but added that China was committed to completing the MVTC project, saying “we also look forward to the others” while recognizing the many others that they have done including the Jackson F. Doe Hospital, UL Fendell Campus and Confucius Institute among others.
She says government still awaits the other important ones including the Samuel Doe Sports Complex, Ministerial Complex and annexes to the home of the Legislature. Earlier, Mr. Nagbe recalled that two years ago, President Sirleaf constituted an inter-ministerial TVET reform committee following a report done in partnership with the government and UNESCO which found that TVET in Liberia was “disharmonious, lacked proper infrastructure, a standardized curriculum and TVET instructors.”
Regarding the job provision for trainned young Liberians, Mr. Nagbe said government now has the information that the area with the most exertive capacity for trainned Liberian youth is agriculture.
“While MVTC will not be giving training in agriculture, we intend to expand agriculture as a cornerstone for TVET. Agriculture has the most potential in our country but it is also the most overlooked. So we are going to re-brand TVET in general for agriculture in particular,” he concluded.
For his part, Chine Ambassador to Liberia Zhang Yue cautioned that as the hope for the nation, young Liberians should shoulder the responsibility to built Liberia, while wishing that the young people can take “this precious opportunity” of getting access to modern training facilities in the new MVTC.
He says the new MVTC is equipped with sufficient and modern facilities, specifically designed to meet the needs of training more young Liberians. “With a budget of roughly 9 million US Dollars and covering an area of 6,000 square meters, the MVTC is composed of one teaching building, one laboratory building, one administrative building and two dormitory buildings for faculty and students respectively,” he said.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah