TVET graduates want action, not promises
Several thousand graduates of government Technical, Vocational Education Training or TVET program across the country are disillusioned by joblessness and repeated promises by the current administration and previous administration to absorb them in the job market after their studies.
The Monrovia Vocational Training Center (M.V.T.C.) and several other technical and vocational institutions in the country graduate thousands of youth from time to time in various disciplines, including Carpentry, Electricity, Plumbing, Construction and Computer Literacy, among others without creating job opportunities for them.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports gathered thousands of graduates recently at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville outside Monrovia and made another round of promises to provide them employment that would enable them to cater to their families.
“We want to see how best we can link you with some of these government’s projects that are ongoing across the country. We want to do everything in our power to ensure that we find a job for you so that you can in return, feed your family,” asserts Youth and Sports Minister D. Zeogar Wilson.
Public Works Minister, Mobutu VlahNyepan, says the initiative is the best way forward for the young people of Liberia and a way for inclusive participation, pledging the Ministry of Public Works’ commitment to include graduates of TVET program in ongoing government projects across the country.
“Your training is not in vain; your qualification is not in vain because we have a lot to do in this country. We have 12,000 kilometers of roads and out of that only 800 kilometers are paved, so we have a lot to do and you will be considered fully in our programs. My message is, don’t despair; don’t be deterred”, he assures the graduates, many of them youths in their 20s and 30s.
But the graduates say these promises are familiar choruses they had heard before. This time around, they want tangible steps that would take them to the job market, having played their part by acquiring technical skills and vocational education.
“We have been listening to these kinds of promises from the past government and we continue to hear [them] even more, since the inception of this government, but nothing much has been done about our wellbeing. Sir, how then should we trust this one?” A female TVET graduate, MiattaSambola, asks.
Many other graduates joined her in voicing their frustrations and disappointment about lack of job opportunities to demonstrate the knowledge and skills acquired. They want the government to bridge this gap now than later.
We also join the graduates in urging the government to go beyond mere promises and promises, by taking concrete steps in absorbing them in the job market thru cadet programs that could see them climb the ladder of success to become the professionals they want to be.