A number of young Maldivians are “left out” and unable to become productive members of society because they lack skills for employment, President Mohamed Nasheed has said.
According to the President’s Office, Nasheed made the remarks in Haa Alif Hoarafushi last night while addressing participants of the government’s ‘Hunaru’ (skills) training programme in the island.
President Nasheed unveiled the Rf360 million (US$23 million) national training programme on Independence Day, July 26, with an ambitious target of leading 8,500 youth to skilled employment in a variety of fields.
The government hoped that participants of the programme in Hoarafushi would find jobs upon completion of the courses in three to six months, Nasheed said last night.
The President urged participants to attend the course without fail and expressed satisfaction with the number of female participants in the programme.
Speaking at the inauguration of the first training course under the ‘Hunaru’ programme on Saturday – conducted by the Centre for Career and Technical Education (CCTE) to train 100 youth in heavy load vehicle operations – Nasheed asserted that the main impediment to national development was limited job opportunities for young people.
Nasheed observed that there were 12,000 expatriate workers with simple skills – including 645 forklift drivers – earning between Rf9,000 (US$580) and Rf10,000 (US$640) a month while 30 percent of working age youth could not find jobs.
The ‘Hunaru’ programme would provide instruction in 57 different kind of skills, said Nasheed, while training a single participant would cost between Rf10,000 and Rf15,000 as a course fee.
In addition, each participant is to be given a monthly allowance of Rf2,000 for the duration of their courses.
“The government is covering these expenses with a lot of expectation and hope,” he said. “The Maldives could only change when the youth and people in the workforce learn a skill and start working to change the country, to develop the country.”