06 February 2014, Monrovia — More than 50 vulnerable and war affected youths have been awarded certificates following the completion of vocational skills training programs offered by the Liberia Opportunities & Industrialization Center (LOIC). The program was held over the weekend at the LOIC premises in Monrovia.
Speaking at the occasion, the President and CEO of the National Oil Company of Liberia, Dr. Randolph McClain welcomed the partnership between his company and other vocational training institutions including the LOIC.
NOCAL, he said, will expand partnership with various vocational training institutions in the country as they develop the manpower potential of the young people of Liberia. “It is part of our core value of sustainability, a principle which we at NOCAL hold so dearly,” he noted.
Dr. McClain said as part of its local content drive, NOCAL is currently exploring the possibility of expanding its role from providing financial support to train young people to providing the means and possibilities to have them efficiently use the acquired skills, either as employees or entrepreneurs.
“We remain committed to the maintenance and possible expansion of this partnership since the need to provide skills training and other forms of capacity building for young people remains pivotal to NOCAL,” Dr. McClain noted.
NOCAL, in collaboration with the LOIC implemented successfully the second batch of vocational skills training which graduated the 53 beneficiaries among 289 graduates during the 19th Cycle Graduation of the Monrovia program.
Delivering the keynote address on behalf of Finance Minister Amara Konneh, Deputy Finance Minister of Debt Management and Expenditure, Mrs. Angela Bush-Cassel said the long term growth and development of Liberia depend on how government and its partners work to harness the potential of the youthful population.
She said the tenacity of the graduates demonstrate their firm desire to join in the process of national development and congratulated them for taking up the challenge even in the face of bold challenges.
The beneficiaries were provided training in computer science, auto mechanics, weaving, plumbing, electricity, carpentry, tailoring, masonry and shoe making at the LOIC training center in New Matadi, Monrovia.
A total of 53 NOCAL sponsored beneficiaries were awarded certificates. Of the number, 47 were males and 6 females. 21 other students under the program are required to stay for an additional 3 months. NOCAL is currently sponsoring 185 students for academic year 2013-2014 at the LOIC.
The objective of the project is to support the Center to strengthen its capacity and train vulnerable and war-affected youths in vocational skills for livelihood creation. NOCAL believes that employment through livelihood creation acquired from skills training is an important step in reducing poverty among the youths.
Last year, more about 1200 students were granted NOCAL scholarships for vocational training at various institutions including the LOIC. A total of 126 students were enrolled at the institution; 111 males and 15 females. They have undergone various fields of vocational training, including tailoring, shoe-making, plumbing, carpentry, electricity, auto-mechanic, tailoring, and masonry.