51 Women trained to operate heavy equipment

BY: News Desk Report
 A resource person taking the trainees through the lessons
A resource person taking the trainees through the lessons

Fifty-one female beneficiaries of the youth employment programme have graduated after undergoing a 15-week training in how to drive and operate heavy duty machines.

Under the operational name, Zoom Captains, the beneficiaries were trained in the operation of various categories of heavy duty/earth moving equipment, namely excavators, graders, vibratory rollers, payloaders and thrash compactors.

An initiative of Zoomlion Ghana Limited, the training at the Armed Forces Supplies and Transport Training School (FATS), Burma Camp, in Accra was to build a work environment that encouraged and promoted affirmative action in less popular feminine job roles.

The trainees were selected from among the youth employment beneficiaries attached to Zoomlion as street sweepers with hardly any competence in driving.

During the 15 weeks, the trainees were also taught from the scratch; how to move a vehicle from rest, changing of gears, steering control, road signs, road manners and ethics, among several topics and skills.

They have since been absorbed into Zoomlion’s mainstream operations.

Utilise skill

Addressing the trainees at the closing ceremony, the Commanding Officer of the FATS, Lieutenant Colonel Franklin Gyamerah Amoako, charged the participants to put into practice the knowledge and skills they had acquired and to show discipline and experience.

“It is also my hope that when our new graduates get out there, they will be given the opportunity to handle and operate these heavy duty equipment because they have been equipped with all the competencies to do so,” he said.

“I must say these were ladies who had no knowledge at all of driving, and within the time frame, were able to be transformed from ground zero to heavy duty drivers,” he said.

Empowering staff

The Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Environment and Sanitation Cluster of the Jospong Group of Companies, Mrs Florence Larbi, also commended the trainees for the courage to go through the training process.

She said it had always been the vision of the Jospong Group to empower women to take up such challenging opportunities to make them confident to compete with their male counterparts.

The Zoom Captains Concept was launched on July 16, 2008, when 25 young women from the youth employment programme were trained as heavy duty truck drivers.

Earlier this year, 100 drivers and 200 janitors were successfully trained under the concept, and were equipped with skills to make them more efficient and effective in their job.