Source: The New Dawn
Over 50 Liberian school girls have benefited from a Chevron-sponsored Job Readiness and Placement Information Technology (IT) Program in Montserrado County.

he program, which was funded by Chevron Liberia Limited, and implemented by The Women, Peace and Security Network - Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) is aimed at enhancing the job readiness and marketability of the 50 female high school students through providing them opportunity to develop and improve their computer and life skills, as well as to utilize these skills through job placements.

WIPSEN-Africa on Tuesday August 6, 2013 graduated the 50 girls as part of its commitment to implement the Chevron-sponsored Job Readiness and Placement IT Program in Monrovia. Beneficiaries of the project are students between ages 17 and 25 from two public high schools in Monrovia, namely the Keneja Public School and the Paynesville Central High School, respectively.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, the Director of programs of WIPSEN-Africa Ms Aissatou Fall, said the project focused on this demographic group because they are known to have limited opportunities to enhance their job readiness skills after graduation from high school.

She said the program was designed to respond to the vast needs and limited opportunities that are available to young people of Liberia. She noted that the assessments made by Wipsen-Africa and other stakeholders in the past, revealed that young people in Liberia are affected by the lack of economic opportunities.

Ms Fall noted that it was also discovered that most of the training programmes in the country have no component that fosters the holistic development of participants. She stressed that the objective of the program is to also contribute to youth development in Liberia and enhance youth job readiness and marketability.

"In other words, participants are taught to use technology and apply it within their job placements. The program aims also to; foster a word culture among Liberian youth and provide tools for readiness," she added.

Ms Fall said the uniqueness of the Chevron Youth Job Readiness and Job Placement-IT program is that it combines basic and advanced IT skills such as E-mail, word processing, excel, Internet skill, search engines, building websites, research methods, computer program, database development and administration, multimedia technology and computer networking, and life skill thru mentoring, leadership, sexual and reproductive health, resume writing, Job interview techniques and public speaking.

"The result that we are seeing today is a cohort of 50 young girls, fully equipped with IT skills and knowledge, as well as life skills, ready to conquer the job market", she noted.

Also speaking at the graduation ceremony, Chevron Country Manager Karl Cottrell, said his company's development initiative places youth education, especially vocational and technical skills as a priority in its funding activities.

He said the company is aware of the high youth unemployment rate and the significant gap between the number of programs providing high quality technical skills and those seeking a high quality education. The girls however expressed thanks and appreciation to WIPSEN-Africa for providing them the opportunity to learn free IT skills that they are applying currently.

Twenty-five of the young graduates have already been placed in institutions such as the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, Starz College of Technology, International Law Group, Redemption Hospital, Ministry of Defense, Liberia Youth Empowerment Program and the Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts, respectively.

Key stakeholders, who contributed to the training and job placement activities include STARZ College of Technology, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Ministry of Gender & Development, Planned Parent Association of Liberia (PPAL), the Paramount Young Women Initiative, Ministry of Finance, Starz Institute, International Law Group, Redemption Hospital, Ministry of Defence, Liberia Youth Economic Programme (LYEP), Ministry of Transport and Tubman National Institute of Medical Arts. The Ministry of Youth & Sports also hosted the project.


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