April 26, 2018
Vocational and technical education is another name for “education for work.” It focuses on providing learners with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully transition to the workplace. Accordingly, the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Coalition has successfully hosted its first Job Fair in Sierra Leone. The one day event took place Thursday, 19 April, 2018 at the British Council, Tower Hill in Freetown.
This first of its kind interactive meeting between employers and prospective employees brought about over 500 job seekers participants and corporate, governmental and non-governmental organisations, including the British Council, UNDP, UNFPA, EU, WHH, HR Solution, Chinese Embassy, Schooling for Life, Africell, Save the Children, Sierra Rutile, Cordaid, Total SL. Also in attendance were AfriGas, Afriqia, Welt Hunger Hilfe, Radisson Blu Hotel, National Youth Commission (NYC) and host of other employers.
Chairman of the TVET Coalition, who doubles as Commissioner of the National Youth Commission, Anthony Koroma said the coalition comprises government institutions, training providers, international donors, the private sector, NGOs and bi/multilateral organisations.
With the rapidly changing context of work and the need for a skilled, adaptable workforce, vocational and technical education will continue to hold a vital role in the US economy, said Mr. Koroma, who added that TVET’s overarching objective was to support the government in its mandate to improve the quality and employability of graduates in Sierra Leone by aligning demand with supply of skills and competencies.
Chairman Koroma noted that the Job Fair focuses on bringing together job seekers that are currently pursuing secondary/vocational education and their potential future employer.
He said the Job Fair gives employers the chance to address a large audience, indicating their staffing needs, selection criteria and opportunities to potentially future employees.
Koroma said TVET Coalition’s key strategies include networking, advocacy, research, image, campaigning, among others, in order to actualise the coalition’s objective of improving the employability of TVET graduates and creating an environment that promotes cooperation between the private sector and training providers.
It also brings vocational institutes and other training institutions on the platform so that students could find where to study for specific job requires. This way, the coalition aims to establish a clear pathway for students to become self-employed or entrepreneurs.
British Council Project Delivery Coordinator, Umaru Fofana, said the Job Fair was the first they are organising for job seekers across the country.
He said that it caters for 500 job seekers to meet with their potential future employers, coupled with submission of curriculum vitae and registration for any suitable employment.
A cross-section of job seekers who spoke at the event expressed thanks and appreciation to the TVET Coalition for creating the link between job seekers and employers.
According to them, the Job Fair gave them the opportunity to meet with their potential future employers and to know what qualifications are required to become employee of the interested institutions.
“Interest in the Job Fair has been enormous; far more wish to participate both as job seekers and sponsors than we can accommodate this first time around,” say the organisers.
TVET Coalition was formed in early 2015 and is made of parties interested in supporting TVET in Sierra Leone. It is voluntary and non-fee paying and currently includes the divisions of Government; NGOs; Private Sector, Training Providers and Multilaterals/Bi-laterals.
In developed countries such as Australia, Germany, Great Britain, and South Korea, TVET is a key to economic prosperity, while in developing countries TVET is seen as a key to economic self-sufficiency. Advantages of the fair include networking among youths.
Meanwhile, many organisations collected CVs from potential employees.