In Partnership with the TAF Africa Foundation, the Jobs, Skills and Finance Program in the Gambia has launched the first formal apprenticeship program in masonry for young citizens, cutting across both male and female recipients. The launching event took place on Tuesday, 6th April 2021, at the TAF Africa Foundation Hall at the Madiba Mall, Brufut Garden.

The “Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth in The Gambia” Programme is funded by the 11th European Development Fund and implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in collaboration with the International Trade Center (ITC), in a bid to empower young Gambians with opportunities for employment and sustenance.

Beneficiaries targeted for the apprenticeship are youths and women in the rural Gambia (North Bank Region, Lower River Region, and Central River Region), and speaking for JSF, Yusupha Keita, the Technical Adviser and Coordinator for Jobs, Skills, and Finance at the Intentional Trade Center (ITC), noted that the advent of the program is the beginning of innovation solutions to skills development in The Gambia. According to him:

“Apprenticeship started with a master craftsperson passing their knowledge to an apprentice and has been proven centuries ago that it works and it is both impactful and transformative. With time the model has been used worldwide as a catalyst for job creation and industrial development and continues to be a central pillar of development today.”

Hopefully, the beneficiaries will acquire the necessary skills in masonry which will help them develop and improve while broadening their horizon into another field of knowledge.