Liberia’s youthful population is made up of enthusiastic and energetic young people who need sufficient, supportive policies and programs in place to explore their full potentials and help spur growth and economic advancement.
But as Liberia continues to grapple with youth joblessness crisis, the structural nature of how young people access jobs, and given the potential drawback of such unemployment crisis, the need to find concrete solutions cannot be overemphasized.
The problem of youth unemployment, given the staggering realities currently facing Liberian youths and the pervasive nationwide ramifications, demand that all development partners, private and public, must act with coordinated and collective action for job-oriented strategies.
As the imperative message of job creation for young people resonates across the world, ArcelorMittal Liberia, the leading private sector investment, is poised to make good on its commitment to job provision once again.
The company has started recruiting hundreds of young people and training them to work on its ore beneficiary plant, which is under construction in the mining town of Yekepa, Nimba.
Last year, ArcelorMittal Liberia asked for applications from potential young men and women in Grand Bassa, Bong, and Nimba counties, with the intent of training them as process operators.
When the ore processing plant is completed and dedicated, it is these young people who will take up jobs at the concentrator plant as part of the company’s Phase II expansion.
In fulfillment of this pledge of recruiting about 500 youths for various technical and logistical positions, ArcelorMittal last week kick-started the process operator training for the first 150 youths in Yekepa.
They were selected from more than 2,000 applicants that poured in from various communities in the three counties and underwent a series of assessments to determine their suitability for the training program during the AML Bulk Recruitment exercise, carried out in areas where its mining activities are located.
According to the company, these trainees are divided into three groups with 50 taken at a time: the first group of 50 goes through a one-month induction for specific technical information, and afterward go through sessions of training for months, including field trips for visual and practical learning; the second batch of 50 go through the same process until all of them are trained and absorbed by the company as part of the phase two expansion project.
ArcelorMittal has committed that young people will be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to operate and monitor machinery and equipment at its processing plant and control the processing of iron ore.
This opportunity by ArcelorMittal Liberia presents a clear response to how she is living up to her commitment for youth employment in Liberia.
Not just with this current training, but also through its countless community development initiative, ArcelorMittal continues to present a sober and forward-looking creative intervention, tapping into formidable challenges with job creation, inherent limitations and the way forward.
The company is leading the way for other concession operating in Liberia to cultivate responsible business attitudes learned from each other and to promote concerted action to help rebuild the Liberian economy.