Torit Vocational Training Center launched

By: BullenBala Alexander

The Government, UNDP and Embassy of Netherlands have launched a Vocation Training Center in Torit State.

Speaking during the launching ceremony on Wednesday in Torit, the National Minister of Labour, Public Service and Human Resource Development, General James Hoth Mai said the launch came at an opportune time as the nation was looking forward for the formation of government of unity as part of the implementation of Revitalized Peace Agreement.

“Vocational training center for vulnerable youths is an important indication of a positive step towards progress in the efforts to improve promotion of employment and vocational training opportunities in Eastern Equatoria and other parts of South Sudan,” Gen. Mai said.

He said the UN Secretary General Youth Envoy’s visit in Torit to participate in the activities of the government was an effort to mobilize youths for training and positive involvement.

Minister Mai added that the national Ministry of Labor, Public Service and Human Resource Development was committed to the reform agenda.

“At the national government, we deliberate to engage both public and private sectors to provide employment for youths.”

Gen. Mai stressed that the employment of youth can only happen effectively when youths are given access to skill training so that they become competent individuals to work and support their families.

“The Government is committed to promote and support opportunities which must increase employment of youths and all the citizens of South Sudan whether in the public or private sector,”

“This country requires workforce with basic and foundational skills to produce mid-level workers including electricians, plumbers, mechanics, hospitality workers and others to fully participate and engage in various industries.”

Meanwhile JayathmaWickramanayake, the UN Secretary General Envoy on Youth expressed her happiness on the launching of the VTC in Torit State.

She said the vocational training center was an urgent call for more educational skills building for young people, because some the youths who have joined armed groups have come back and joined the vocational training center. This is positive and will contribute towards the development of South Sudan.

“I think that it is positively an urgent call and I will also encourage other development partners such as NGOs, donors, and government it’s self in building the capacity of young people through vocational technical education,” she said.

She said one of her mandate was to promote the implementation of two UN Security Council resolutions by 2020-2050 which is highlighting positive roles that young people can do when it comes to building in their communities as young people are seeing perpetrators of the conflicts or armed groups.

“The reality is that the young people want to be positive, they want to bring peace in their communities so through my visit here in South Sudan, “I aim to achieve two things, first to help build the capacities of young people, to launch project for women to be peace builders and mediators in their communities and secondly I will be taking those stories back to UN Security Council and also high level conference which will be organized later this year about the crucial role the young people play in peace mediation.”

Dr. Kamil Kamaluddeen, the UNDP Resident Representative, expressed his pleasure for the government for taking the vocational education training as number one priority in the country.

He said it was the only way for reducing unemployment in the country saying youth need skills in whatever they can do best in order to have health participation in country.

To have complete journey of prosperity, we need to have good future that is to have voice and have confidence in what people are doing for the development of the country.”

However, he said UNDP will continue to discuss with its partners such as Embassy of Netherlands, and others to see that youth and women are empowered and have necessary skills in the country.

“To do all that, we need support from the communities so that these things happen, we need from you patience, we need from you peace, we need from you cooperation and we need from you respect to each other men and women,” Dr Kamaluddeen said.

Hassan Urbano Alex, the Torit State Minister of Education revealed that the Torit Vocational Training Center VTC was initiated in 1950 as a trade school, and then it was integrated as an intermediate technical school in early 1960.

Its became a technical secondary school in 1976 after Addis-Ababa agreement then 1986, the school was closed due to insurgencies or civil war between the Khartoum government and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army.

Torit technical institute is one of the famous technical schools in South Sudan which enables many youth to get indulged in technical skills and knowledge for self-reliance and created job opportunities for youth.

He said since then the technical school managed to sustain and maintain the school drop-out students to gain lifelong skills to improve on their socio-economic status across the state in particular and the country at large.

“As I am speaking now, the school has inadequate tools and equipment in the following departments, the department of masonry, department of ICT (information, communication and technology), mechanical and electricity department, tailoring and lifelong skills department and department of cabinet and carpentry.”

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