By Fatmata Jengbe
Labour Minister, Alpha Timbo, on the 8th January, 2020 visited the Hunan International Vocational Centre (HIVC) at the YWCA to get himself au fait with the training going on there.
The training started before Mr Alpha Timbo became Minister of Labour and it was the first time he met with the organizers and students of the ongoing training.
Addressing the students, the Minister said he is very happy for such a training that is organized by HIVC saying he understands that this is the second time they are organizing such in Sierra Leone.
“Your vision to improve human capital in Sierra Leone is a laudable venture that our Government will support because we believe that if we can capacitate Sierra Leoneans in the middleman area then Sierra Leone will develop at a faster rate. I understand that it is 45 of you now being trained on sewing and embroidery, which is welcoming to the Government,” he inspired.
He said the organizers have briefed him that the students are always punctual and they have been very cooperative in making sure they succeed and go out to be quality dress makers.
The Minister averred that China has always taken the lead to help build Sierra Leone in all spheres of life and this training did not come as a surprise and hope this will not be the last but will continue to help Sierra Leoneans in various vocational training programmes.
Thanking the Minister for his visit to them, student Aiah Koroma said they are very happy that the Minister has visited them, which shows how important this Government puts priority on education.
He said they also want to thank the Chinese Government and the Hunan Training College for doing this training as what they have learnt will be of immense benefits to them because they will be able to start their own tailor shops and what they have learnt will be for them forever.
“Mr. Minister Sir, we want you to empower us to help us develop our shops and give us contracts that are now given to foreigners. As you are talking about Local Content, this is an opportunity for your Government to help us become quality tailors to help meet the demands of Government and other agencies to help them secure quality and cheap uniforms rather than giving it to foreigners or even buying from China,” he furthered.
The Minister in his response said it is a good idea but they must first of all put more efforts to finish the training on the high and make sure that they will be able to perform at the highest level for them to prove to the world that they deserve more Government support.
He said he will allow them to sew for all the Ministers so that they can be assess if they are to be given contracts. This, he said, will happen soon as he is going to put the modalities in place and has asked the team leader to provide him a list of all the tailors and seamstress so that he can start the process.
Thanking the Minister for his visit was the Coordinator of the HIVC, Emma. She thanked the Minister for visiting the training center and said in less than two weeks the training will come to an end.
“We will be inviting you to the closing ceremony that will take place on the 20th of January and we hope you will grace the occasion as these students have done well since the programme started and the former Minister of Labor was on hand during the opening ceremony to spur the students and we expect you to guide them into the world where they will become masters of their own destinies.”