The Career Placement and Advisory Service (CAPS) centre, a one-stop shop for everything pertaining to career guidance and counselling, mentorship, coaching, networking, training, electronic library, internet facilities, photocopying and printing facilities for students was commissioned on Friday, 16th November, 2018 by the Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs, Hon. Luseni Kallon in the college’s campus in Kenema District, 307 kilometers from the capital, Freetown.
The initiative is an integral component of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Youth Strategy designed in 2010 by the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) with technical and financial support from UNDP.
UNDP Programme Specialist YEEP, Ann-Marie Bassie said that graduating from university is just the beginning of the long walk to success. The CAPS prepare a less painful pathway for students to polish their skills in getting the job of their choice in the labour market, in line with their area of study.
“CAPS deal with comprehensive services offered by educational institutions and other job advocacy organizations to facilitate: job internships or in-house training; selection of training programs and academic majors; world-of-work awareness; student and graduate empowerment; recruitment and probation training; youth forum on career workshops.”
Deputy Ministry of Youth Affairs, Hon. Luseni Kallon noted that a major challenge for youth unemployment in Sierra Leone is not dependent on the degree acquisition, but the type of training for majority that are not demanded in the labour market.
“CAPS serves as a delivery mechanism to bridge this gap and help guide students’ selection of classes and fields of study after the completion of foundation courses in the first year – pointing them to training in high demand jobs as related to their respective fields of studies instead of low or no-demand jobs and sectors already saturated with applicants.” Said Hon Kallon.
“I have seen students with very good degrees but find it very difficult to attract the job markets. The administration sees the commissioning of the CAPS center as an opportunity to help students with the right tools to attract job providers.”- Prof. Mohamed Lahai, Principal Eastern Polytechnic.
The Eastern Polytechnic joined other institutions of higher learning in Sierra Leone to have a fully-functional CAPS Centre - Fourah Bay College (serving the University of Sierra Leone) Njala University (Main Campus and Bo Campus).