Sierra Leone: practical training for first-time job-seekers

Many young people in Sierra Leone are looking for work. Dual vocational training gives them better chances of finding a job.

For many young people in Sierra Leone, finding a first job is a challenge. It is difficult to find a good position, particularly for women and young people. About 60 per cent are unemployed or underemployed. Yet the country needs skilled workers to develop economically.

To enhance professional opportunities, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is helping young people get training, find a job, and increase their income as a result. On behalf of the German Development Ministry (BMZ) and the European Union, GIZ is piloting German-style dual vocational training, with young people alternating between school-based and company-based phases, giving them the chance to apply what they have learned in a practical setting and gain hands-on experience. About 300 young women and men have already undergone training. And they have good chances on the job market, with almost 70 per cent of companies planning to take on their trainees once they finish their course.

The chance of a better life

Richard Tamba Manga completed dual training to become an electrician. ‘A university degree is no guarantee of a job,’ he says. ‘But you can always set up your own business with the technical skills you acquire during vocational training.’


The practical training is valuable throughout working life, whether graduates become self-employed or work for a company. Of that Rosaline Nyandebo is convinced. ‘I had no previous knowledge when I trained as a motor mechanic,’ she explains. ‘Today I can strip an engine and know how everything works. Nobody can ever take that away from me.’

After this promising start, the project is to be scaled up later in the year.

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