Returnees in NBR and CRR were recently trained on job search skills, self-esteem building, interview techniques and CV writing. The training which was held on 31 August 2019, at University of The Gambia’s Farafenni campus brought together 25 participants from these two regions.
It was organised by Gamjobs and Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI) with funding from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. It is aimed at equipping returnees with the right knowledge to search and find job needed to rebuild their lives.
In his opening statement, Ebrima Dem, the CEO of Gamjobs thanked COOPI for the partnership. He stressed that returnees are part of the society, and like every citizens, they have rights to decent employment. As vulnerable people who have undergone through lot of challenges, helping returnees to reintegrate into society should be the business of every good person, he said. He expressed his company’s readiness to continue giving returnees the chance to showcase their talent in their chosen careers, which he said is not only useful to returnees themselves but also to the society. Mr. Dem maintained that the country has lot loose in terms of socio-economic development if thousands of young returnees continue to remain jobless.
For his part, Musa Wally, speaking behalf of the project manager of COOPI said that the workshop was timely. He said though, it is difficult for most youths to find job in the country; it is much harder for young returnees in rural areas. This he said makes it really relevant for COOPI to collaborate in such an initiative. Mr. Wally went further to say, that, while counselling is good, this should go along side providing job opportunities to returnees to enable them to cater for themselves and their family needs.
Using hand-on demonstration, group sessions and power point presentation, the trainers – Seedy Fofana, Baboucar Samba and Ebrima Dem, took turns to lead participants through several topics of writing a good CV, tools to search and find jobs, interview technique and self-presentation to build first impression to potential employer. Participants were taught especially on how to develop a standard CV that will catch the attention of employer. They were also informed about sectors in the job market that are highly absorbing skilled workers such as security service, construction, tourism and agriculture, platforms to search for jobs and various employment initiatives in country targeting returnees notably the RESTART Project (Returnees Integration enhancing through coaching and job placement).
Speaking during the closing session, Mr. Lamin Jaiteh, a returnee, thanked the organisers of the workshop which he described as thoughtful and empathetic to the plight of returnees in the country. He said, though returnees are vulnerable; many are professionals in their own ways and have skills that they can offer back to society. These skills he said need to be harnessed for the development of the country. He acknowledged that the training was interactive and fruitful. He urged organisers and other companies to continue having returnees in mind as we work together in building an inclusive society.