Monrovia, March 6, 2022: – Former Vice President Joseph Nyuma Boakai, Sr., who is also Standard Bearer of the Unity Party (UP), Sunday said that Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) should be considered a “National Priority” as our nation needs technically and vocationally competent workers for its economic growth.
Ambassador Boakai made the pronouncement during the Second Cycle Graduation program of the Emmanuel Dahn Foundation’s D-7 Skills Training Center, when he told the 497 graduates that Liberia needs technically and vocationally competent young people for its economic growth, noting that “young people should be targeted to acquire the necessary technical skills that will position them to become active participants in our national development efforts.”
Speaking on the topic, ““TVET Education for Youth Employment and Empowerment,” Amb. Boakai noted that it is important to educate our young people to become technically and vocationally competent because they are big consumers economically, and they can effectively help build the economy when they are a major part of production and consumption.
He stressed that skills acquisition by Liberian youth will generally provide them with employable skills which majority are lacking and are thus ill-equipped to access economic opportunities in the present labor market or workforce.
He then highlighted the dreadful situation of unemployment among the young people of the country, blaming it on the presently poor economic growth we are experiencing. He said, “Today, overall statistics about unemployment are appallingly high, especially among the youth, and have adversely affected the growth and development of the nation’s economy, subjecting many citizens to abject poverty.”
He proposed that one solution needed to reverse high youth unemployment is that our young people be given real, and not cosmetic, support for them to develop technical and vocational skills in order to be marketable for employment and/or to build entrepreneurial skills to create employment or jobs for themselves.
He further noted, “In most developing countries like Liberia, TVET Education has been identified as one of the most important tools for addressing the pervasive youth unemployment problem. Our country has also taken note of this solution, but the problem continues due to serious shortcomings in terms of access and equity, governance, and funding.”
He went on to blame both existing TVET institutions and the Government for these shortcomings. He said that most TVET institutions have not properly identified the skills needed by the market/labor force because most have failed to develop “market linkages for job placement of their graduates,” and many have not revised their training curricula, updated their trainers’ skills, and improved basic training infrastructure. He also blamed the Weah government for the poor regulation of the proliferation of TVET institutions, the inadequate financing by government of TVET education, and the lack of incentives for the involvement of the private sector.
Noting that over the years he has also supported the training of young people in areas of TVET skills, he encouraged the graduates to be prepared to focus on practical applications they can use in serving their country in order to develop a “Better Liberia,” while meeting the needs of their employers, communities, and the general citizenry, and also providing improved livelihoods for their families.
In giving the reason he accepted the invitation to be their commencement speaker, the Former Vice President told the graduating students that he had long held the strong disposition that education is the best legacy any country can give to its citizens.
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Signed: Charles A. Snetter
Head, JNB2023 Media Team
(Charles Snetter, Jake Kabakole, George Saah, Robert Kpadeh, Dr. Momo Rogers)
Approved: Office of the Former Vice President
Contact: Mr. Snetter (+231) 777814338
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