More than 140 graduates from the Vocational Skills Development Organization (VOSDO) in South Sudan's Lakes State were awarded start-up kits for their businesses on Saturday.
The graduates; 93 males and 55 females underwent different pieces of training supported by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Saturday, the state labor minister Deborah Akec Kuocnin said she urged the new graduates to use their new skills in creating jobs for themselves and others.
"I told the youth that we go out of the way to provide the start-up kits. This is to help them start up somewhere instead of just giving them the skills and they may not have money to buy the kits to start their businesses," Akec said. "It is also one of our programs to provide them with the start-up kits as a group and in this case. They will be able to start somewhere and not from the scratch anymore."
She adds, " The kits are for them to take and go to the market and start something for themselves and even possibly employe others. I told them categorically that these skills are not for you to go around looking for jobs but these skills are given to you to create your own jobs and also to employe others and even to train others."
Minister Akec said the stakeholders will monitor the progress of the trainees till July.
"We are going to follow them up on how they are performing how they are operating and what challenges they face until July. When that is done then we will talk about another project. We are in discussion with UNDP and when this phase is finished we can start another phase and from there we can be able to know exactly the details of the second project," she added.
VOSDO's head of the programs William Bior Ateny said the 148 graduates got different skills including carpentry and joinery, automotive, electrical and solar installation, plumbing and pipe fittings, computer operations, catering, and hospitality.
"In our programs, we have community and institutions based training. So, what we did last year, was a graduation of the first batch where we graduated about 158 students and in this second batch we are graduating 148 students," he said.
Bior said all the graduates received different tools and equipment for their trade and after they establish their businesses, VOSDO will provide coaching and mentorship programs for them.
Martha Adior Alier, a graduate of computer science said, "For me, I have learned seven courses from the computer class and those courses are beneficial to me because I have learned Excel, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Access, Database, and internet and they are all functional to me."
Baichieng Majak Bol, also a graduate said, "I am very happy indeed and I appreciate our government and partners who have given us this opportunity. I have learned solar installation and electrical engineering and I will put them in the market because I have valuable knowledge, VOSDO will provide me with tools.”
Source: Radio Tamazuj