A WORD OF WELCOME PRESENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT DELEGATE TO THE Bamenda City Council AT THE OCCASION OF THE SECTOR CONFERENCE OF EMPLOYMENT AND VOCATIONAL TRAINING STAKEHOLDERS, MARKING THE BEGINNING OF THE 2014/2015 ACADEMIC YEAR IN THE NORTH WEST REGION, ON FRIDAY, THE 05TH OF SEPTEMBER 2014in Speeches
The Governor of the North West Region,
The Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam,
The Divisional Officer for Bamenda II,
The Mayors of the Bamenda I, II and III Councils,
The North West Regional Delegate of Employment and Vocational Training, and all other Regional Delegates here present and represented,
The North West Regional Inspector of Training, MINEFOP,
Divisional Delegates here present,
Representatives of Enterprises,
Directors of Public and Private Vocational Training Centres,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Bamenda City Council, and in the name of the inhabitants of Bamenda and the entire North West Region, I welcome all of you here today, as we converge for the North West Regional sector conference of the Delegation of Employment and Vocational Training, for the 2014-2015 academic year. Of course, your attendance at this event, bears testimony to your fervent attachment to the main mission of the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training, which is, to curb unemployment in Cameroon.
Last year, precisely on the 6th of September 2013, a similar sector conference was held under the theme, “A dynamic vocational training as pre-requisite for the creation of sustainable jobs and growth.” This year’s theme is, “The New Dynamics of Training and Apprenticeship for the valorization of local Employment.”
It is evident that the bottom line of both themes is “Dynamic Vocational Training;” and this is so because the only panacea for unemployment in Cameroon today, is meaningful vocational training, in skills that are acquired through apprenticeship. Only by so doing shall vocational training play its rightful development role in the option for Cameroon becoming an emerging economy.
In the North West Region, this is even more so, because of our lack of industries and leading developmental enterprises, coupled with the fact that our youths lack some basic skills, which are required in emerging economies. In fact, 70% of job seekers in this Region are youths, between the 15 and 35 age bracket; but most of them, who are still in the job market, are without any professional qualification. This year’s theme, therefore, is a reminder that vocational training and apprenticeship are static, and as such, not able to valorize and impact on local employment. We are thus assembled here today, to brainstorm on the new dynamics of training and apprenticeship, so as to give more value to local employment.
It is worth noting that South-East Asian countries, which were at par with Cameroon around the 1960’s, are today far more developed than Cameroon, for the simple reason that they long opted for the path of vocational training and apprenticeship. This sector of education has enabled them to create many industries, and, consequently, many jobs.
As far as the new dynamics of vocational training, for added value to local development, are concerned, various stakeholders have vital roles to play. The State and the Ministry of Employment and Vocational Training in particular, are faced with several challenges here, some of which are:
- Constructing and equipping workshops.
- The supply of adequate and sufficient training materials.
- Incentives to apprenticeship centers, etc.
In line with the on-going decentralization process, we are pleased to note that the transfer of competences to the grassroots has been accompanied by the effective transfer of means to nine of our Councils, worth CFA thirty two million. I hereby seize this opportunity, to call on the Mayors of Bamenda I, II and III, to champion the cause of training in the structures under their municipal jurisdiction, so as to improve upon the local employment situation of their communities.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
It is on this clarion call, that, once more, I sincerely welcome all participants to this sector conference, in the hope that you shall come out with meaningful and useful recommendations and resolutions, which shall go a long way to give a new vision to vocational training and apprenticeship.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Vincent Nji Ndumu.