1 August 2017
Youth unemployment and lack of market oriented skills training opportunities are two major challenges facing young people in Africa and the world at large. Youth form the largest part of many countries and South Sudan is no exception. In a country like South Sudan where the levels of education and literacy are very low, skilled employment is a real challenge.
The Skills for Work Project is a 4 year project funded by the European Union and is a joint effort by Dorcas, Edukans, and Light for the World. The project, which was launched on 27 June 2017 at the Peace Hall in Wau Town of South Sudan, aims to address the unemployment gap for youth and vulnerable people through improved capacity of Vocational Education Training (VET) Providers, Civil Services Organizations (CSOs) and Local Authorities (LAs) to provide access to inclusive quality vocational training for vulnerable youth. The project will support seven Vocational Training Centres (VTC) Centers in the former states of Western Bahr el Ghazal (Wau) and Warrap (Kuajok and Akon North) through improvement of the quality of vocational training. According to Thomas Anei Deng, the Project Coordinator for the Skills for work Project, the project will also increase income generating opportunities for vulnerable youth through business start-up support and establishing market relations.
The launching event attracted various key stakeholders such as United Nations Industrial Development Organisation UNIDO, Mary Help Association, Commissioner of Awan Pajok, Relief and Rehabilitation Committee (RRC) Gogrial state and Wau state, representatives of CSOs and Disabled People Organizations (Kuajok and Wau), representatives of Consortium partners and consortium staff, students from various VTCs, Kunus Drama and Dance Group, Media Houses (South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, Voice of Hope and Eye Radio) and members of the two Skills for Work Project Committees of Kuajok and Wau.
The director of Inclusion and Disability in the National Ministry of Gender, Child, Social Welfare and Religious Affairs, Mr. James Wani commended the efforts of the project in addressing inclusivity of people with disabilities in Technical and Vocational Education Training TVET trainings and recommended that the project addresses issues of accessibility to Vocational Training Centers for people with disabilities
The Undersecretary of Labour and Industrial Relations in the National Ministry of Public Service, Human Resources Development, Labour and Industrial Relations, Hon. Mary Hillary Wani reiterated the importance of vocational education in nation building and in addressing youth unemployment because “vocational training should provide youth with opportunities to be self-reliant”. Madam Mary Hillary applauded the efforts of the project consortium members.
The guest of honor of the occasion, Governor of Wau State, H.E. Andrea Mayar Achor pointed out the importance of youth attending trainings and educations which are labour market driven and courses which focuses mainly on employment rather than just “graduating with degrees and no employment opportunity”.
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