By Juliana Vandy
Vice President of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh has encouraged young people to go into farming and expand out-grower schemes for food production, adding that the public sector cannot employ everybody.
He was speaking at the First National Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Fair ever organised in Sierra Leone concludes at the Freetown International Conference Centre Aberdeen Freetown, where he said the stage is now set for the first ever National Apprenticeship Programme to commence.
The three-days event, which concluded on 17th of November 2022, brought together over 500 young Sierra Leoneans from across the sixteen districts.
Speaking at the closing of proceedings, the Hon Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said that the National Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship Fair (NYEEF) is an event that connects human capital development and the prospect for jobs and commended partners and participants for keeping this momentum for three days.
He said it is normally unusual to keep young people together in a place for three days and with such energy.
Admonishing the youth, he emphasised that although government increased employment tremendously in the public sector and for the first time increased the wage bill horizontally by recruiting over 10,000 teachers, 6000 health workers and created opportunities for young people to go into farming and expand out-grower schemes for food production, the public sector cannot employ everybody.
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said that the initiative is part of the broader dynamics of His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s Human capital development, adding that when the new government was preparing its manifesto, there was a critical focus on human capital development.
Vice President Jalloh also revealed that the government’s investment in the health sector has resulted in the reduction of infant and maternal mortality, and pointed out that the statistics, which stated Sierra Leone had 241, 549 live births in 2021, implies that an average of 240,000 kids are expected to be born in Sierra Leone every year.
VP Jalloh stated that government is going to establish structures at the ministry of labour to be able to track the data statistics and information on all job creation opportunities in this country, adding that Government is also going to create an infrastructure that will be responsible for handling the data of graduates who will apply through the secretariat.
In his conclusion, the Vice President revealed that President Bio has authorised the commencement of a National Internship and Apprenticeship Program, so that most young people would have the requisite working experience from government MDAs and other state-owned enterprises.