On 2-6 October 2017, a first group of 20 youth trainers were trained on quality management and training techniques. This was the first step of an initiative aimed at developing training programmes for MSMEs and young entrepreneurs in quality management. The workshop was offered as part of a series of activates under an MOU with The Gambia Bureau of Standards (TGSB).

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The morning sessions were dedicated to technical aspects of quality management based on the ITC/YEP publication “Quality Handbook for Gambian Youth Entrepreneurs” developed under the project.

In the afternoons participants were introduced to training skills and techniques through a series of practical applications, group work and practice deliveries and started designing short courses drawing from the ITC course materials and combing it with local scenarios and examples to be used for the further roll out of this initiative.

The overall level of motivation among participants was extremely high and at the end of the workshop, participants committed to set up a Gambian quality association. Draft statutes have since been developed and work is ongoing. TBSB will now start rolling out initial pilot training events for a total of 50 entrepreneurs in two provinces using some of the trained trainers as a next step.

The closing of the workshop was attended by Naffie Barry – Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration & Employment; Lamin Darboe – Executive Secretary, National Youth Council (deputised for Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Youths & Sports); Papa Secka, Director General,The Gambia Standards Bureau and the YEP Project Manager and Coordinator.

Omar Jallow, class representative speaking at the closing said in a moving statement that “So often you see youth hanging around doing nothing and criticizing the government for not providing them with job opportunities.. Instead of always relying on the government, we should also think about how and what we can offer. The YEP project and this quality management training provides a good opportunity for us to engage and create job opportunities because the concept of quality promotion is lacking in the Gambia.”

The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) addresses the economic root causes of irregular migration by supporting youth employment and entrepreneurship. The project takes a market-led approach to improving the skills and employability of potential and returning migrants according to demands of the job market and simultaneously creating employment opportunities along Gambian value chains. YEP focuses on vocational training and support for micro and small-sized enterprises and creates new jobs in selected sectors through value addition and internationalization.

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