Employment creation for youth to build sustainable peace in The Gambia: Launch of the employment-intensive construction works

The project creates employment opportunities for the youth in The Gambia through ILO’s employment-intensive construction approach with a focus on equal and decent work opportunities

News | 17 October 2018
The ILO started the project “Employment creation for youth to build sustainable peace in The Gambia” in April 2018 with the financial support from the Government of Japan for promoting the growth of the New Gambia, which succeeded in a democratic political transition in 2017. The goal of the project is to generate employment opportunities for the youth in infrastructure construction works for the promotion of decent work with equal opportunities, ultimately contributing to the sustained peace.

The project maximizes employment opportunities by taking the employment-intensive investment approach with a direct engagement of young people, in particular women, the youth with limited educational background, the youth with disabilities, as well as returnees to abate the trends of irregular migration from The Gambia. Project beneficiaries gain work experience together with skills development through “learning by doing” on construction sites, an approach built on the ILO’s 40-year long experience in that field. Three construction sites are selected from the key sectors for economic growth, namely the Tourism, Fishery and Agriculture sector, for the maximum impact of the constructed infrastructure and promoting further employment creation in the labour market.

The project also highlights knowledge transfer of the construction technologies, including the Do-nou technology which is newly introduced to the country in collaboration with the NGO Community Road Empowerment (CORE), a pioneer in innovative road technologies from Japan and Kenya. Four Gambian youth have been recruited as engineers to reinforce the sustainable application of the technology in the country.

The construction works have started with the rehabilitation of the promenade road (1.2 km) for the growth of the Tourism Sector and the development of an access road from the highway to the landing site (2.5 km) for the Fishery Sector. So far, 250 employment opportunities have been created for the youth, which include 50% of women, 12% of returnees, and 10 (5 female and 5 male) workers with hearing disabilities. The construction work ensures smooth communication for all the workers by applying various locally-spoken languages and translation in a sign language. The project will soon launch construction work for the rehabilitation of a mixed farming centre, contributing to the community and agriculture development.

The ILO conducted trainers training on occupational safety and health (OSH) for the construction sector from 23rd to 25th August 2018 in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment of The Gambia (MOTIE), Department of Labour, and the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and plans to organize another training with the trade union in October 2018. This trainers training will be followed by training by trainers and improvements at their work sites.

The integration to the labour market was also enhanced by a forum and job fair jointly organized with the MOTIE, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), and The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) from 12th to 17th August, where more than 300 youths were connected to potential employers.

The project will continue to contribute to employment creation for young women and men through employment-intensive construction works, enterprise support and skills development.