Four hundred and thirty-six artisans from seven districts in the Eastern Region have received start-up kits after receiving training in various trades. The graduates the Birim Central, Kwahu West, Suhum, Nsawam/Adoagyiri, Fanteakwa South, Abuakwa South and New Juaben South districts form part of 1,300 trainee artisans from the Eastern Region who have been offered training in their vocations by the Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA) in conjunction with the Mastercard Foundation.
In all ,12,000 apprentice artisans nationwide have been trained and equipped with entrepreneurial skills to start their own businesses.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, announced this at Akyem Oda last Thursday at a graduation ceremony for the graduates who were presented with start-up kits for dressmaking/fashion, hairdressing, barbering, welding and auto electricians, among others.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh advised the beneficiaries to put the items to good use to generate profits to cater for themselves and their dependants.
She also urged them to train more youth in their communities as their contribution to reduce the unemployment problem in the country.
Mrs Yankey-Ayeh stressed that the government was very concerned about the high youth unemployment rate in the country and was taking realistic measures to solve it which would go a long way to revamp the national economy.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Seth Kwame Acheampong, said all the graduates had successfully completed technical and entrepreneurial training, written NVTI examination and were, therefore, being supported with start-up kits to start their businesses.
He was grateful to the GEA and Mastercard Foundation for complementing the government’s efforts at training and empowering the youth in the country to acquire skills to support the government’s economic and transformation agenda.
“The government recognises that the youth are a critical human resource with global outlook that can be channelled into the national development agenda,” Mr Acheampong emphasised.
He said it was, therefore, imperative for the government and all relevant stakeholders to work together and implement more sustainable policies and strategies that would provide meaningful employment avenues for the teeming youth.
Mr Acheampong announced that from July, this year, the “YouStart” programme launched by the government, which is an apprenticeship to entrepreneurship programme that seeks to support young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training and technical skills to enable them to start, build and grow their own businesses, would take off.
He said the rollout of free Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) had not only resulted in an unprecedented enrolment of over 45,000 students, but also an increase in the number of TVET schools from 47 to 200.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Oda, Alexander Akwasi Acquah, also commended the GEA and Mastercard Foundation for their contribution towards the reduction of youth unemployment in the country.
He was also appreciative of the financial assistance from the GEA and MASLOC to the recent Oda market fire disaster victims.
Mr Acquah, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Trade and Industry, advised the graduates to take proper care of the items and use them for their intended purpose.