The International Trade Centre (ITC) is a joint agency of the United Nations and the World Trade Organization, focusing in particular on developing the export capabilities of small and medium-sized businesses in developing and transition economies. ITC is 100% "Aid for Trade", supporting trade that delivers inclusive and sustainable development results. ITC’s mandate covers all developing countries and transition economies with special emphasis on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Landlocked Developing Countries (LLDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDs) Fragile States and Sub-Saharan Africa. ITC Headquarters is located in Geneva, Switzerland. ITC projects and programmes contribute to the global efforts to achieve UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Aid for Trade agenda. ITC works at three levels:
About the Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth in The Gambia
- Strengthening the integration of the business sector of developing countries and economies in transition into the global economy,
- Improving the performance of trade and investment support institutions for the benefit of small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and enhancing the abilities of trade support institutions to better support them,
- Improving the international competitiveness of SMEs.
The “Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth in The Gambia” Programme funded by the 11th European Development Fund and contributes to stabilizing the economic, social and security situation of the country during the democratic transition by facilitating social inclusion and employment of the youth and women, with a specific emphasis on promoting gender equality and addressing climate change. The overall intervention logic for the project includes three complimentary result areas:
- Green and climate resilient local investments through “cash-for-work” and procurement to local MSMEs (under the LoCAL mechanism - ER 1.1)
- Skills development programmes (ER1.2).
- Improved access to finance (ER 2.1).
JSF implemented by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF – lead agency) in collaboration with ITC. The scope of ITC’s support focuses on improving the relevance, effectiveness and accessibility of vocational and technical training to improve employability and job creation (ER 1.2). The target beneficiaries are youth and women in the rural Gambia (North Bank Region, Lower River Region and Central River Region). The project has an overarching focus on promoting a green economy which will guide the identification and selection of economic sectors of opportunities such as renewable energy, sustainable construction and eco-tourism, soil and water management, climate-smart agriculture, agroforestry, agro-processing and agro-marketing, in line with the menu of investments of the local investments (LoCAL) mechanism. The project will also support the government in providing strategic direction and coordination at national and regional level for a market-oriented TVET system, strengthen the capacity of training providers and effectiveness of their services, and support the roll-out of training opportunities for youth and women. The TVET component of JSF covers the following areas:
Development of a National TVET Roadmap and skill gap assessment for priority sectors: the project will support the government in providing strategic direction and coordination at national and regional level by facilitating the development of a National TVET Roadmap. In keeping with The Gambia’s National Development Pan and building on existing assessments and strategies, the National TVET Roadmap will help create consensus for action among public and private stakeholders on key strategic decisions. It will help define priorities for TVET investments and upgrading of training offers; facilitate coordination and coherence of initiatives in support of TVET development at the national and regional level (including guidance for decentralization of training offerings in rural Gambia); support the creation of knowledge platforms; and identify capacity building needs. The TVET Roadmap will be complemented by the establishment of a coordination framework to create a demand-driven TVET system responsive to labour market needs and related capacity building support.
Increased value proposition (quality, affordability and accessibility) of training offerings to youths and women in target regions: the project will facilitate the expansion of training services to rural communities with a focus on sectors conducive to building a greener and more resilient local economy such as renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, eco-construction or sustainable tourism. A competitive, results-based approach will be applied in disbursing funds to training providers to ensure that training programmes address the needs of Gambian youth and women in rural communities and target employment and/or self-employment outcomes. The project will also strengthen the capacity of existing training institutions and provide support in reviewing, updating their curriculum, teaching material, and acquiring equipment. The revision of the curriculum will be done jointly with sector stakeholders, including representatives from the educational public sector (MoHERST and NAQAA) and the private sector.
Improved quality of informal skills training and apprenticeship programmes. The project will support the “recognition of prior learning” and facilitate the placement of graduates in Gambian companies through internship, traineeship and apprenticeship programmes as an important avenue for skills development and job creation. Synergies will be drawn with cash for work programme to enhance on-the-job learning opportunities available to youth and women.
The scope and priorities of the technical and vocational education and trainings will be informed by the menu of investments for performance-based climate resilience grants (PBCRG) provided by the JSF project under result 1.1 as well as the sector of economic opportunities. The latter will be captured by the TVET roadmap designed and validated with partners. The selection of the sectors of economic opportunities are guided by the findings from previous assessments such as the Youth and Trade Roadmaps that identified gaps and priorities in the tourism, agribusiness and ICT related sectors as well as other relevant assessment and development plans by the government such as the MSME cluster development strategy. The sectors of economic opportunities pursued by JSF will balance the strategic priorities and plans for economic decentralization at national level with tangible opportunities in the priority regions.
UNCDF and ITC will create synergies and complementarities as UNCDF provides capital/access to finance solutions that will create skills demand (under the “Local Climate Adaptive Living” or “LoCAL” facility), while the ITC component will contribute to skills development. In addition, the business and entrepreneurs whose skills have been developed will also have access to capital/ finance through the UNCDF project activities. ITC will collaborate with institutional training providers in the vocational training and education sector. ITC project will also work with providers of non-formal training schemes focusing on-the-job learning and apprenticeship programmes. The project will develop partnerships with private sector associations and companies to seek market-oriented skills development and to facilitate dissemination of training services in a sustainable fashion.
The position will be based in the ITC office in the Gambia which is responsible for the efficient and effective implementation of the project component. The Technical Adviser, Skills Development will work under the supervision of the ITC Programme Manager and in close collaboration with the whole JSF team including the JSF Programme Manager, technical staff responsible for the implementation of other project components as well as field officers stationed in priority regions.