Mining firms urged to partner academia in youth development
Mining companies in the country have been encouraged to partner universities, vocational and training institutions to develop technology-based programmes and courses which can build the skills of the youth and make them employable.
Also, more academia-industry collaboration would help the youth to develop the right skills and knowledge to thrive in a technology-oriented job market.
A Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM), Henry Antwi, made the call when the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) organised its maiden National Youth Conference in Accra yesterday.
It was on the theme: “Building Resilience in a rapidly changing world of Work: The Role of Young Workers.”
The conference attracted tertiary students pursuing various programmes in the sector, as well as other stakeholders.
It also brought together young miners in various mining firms in the country, including AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi; AngloGold Ashanti,Tarkwa; Gold Fields Ghana Ltd,Tarkwa, and Abosso Goldfields Limited.
The youth conference
It discussed a multifaceted approach that centres on the empowerment and inclusion of youth in the mining sector while ensuring the sector's long-term resilience in the face of global transformations.
It also aimed to encourage open dialogue, exchange of ideas and the forging of partnerships that would enable the participants to work together to find innovative ideas in fulfilling their purpose.
Soft skills, mentorship
Mr Antwi said while it was important to be well versed in their professional fields, it was also critical for job seekers to have the soft skills, which many people often ignored when preparing to enter the job market.
He, thus, charged the youth to be creative, critical thinkers and embrace initiatives that would enable them to adjust to the changing conditions of their work.
He also urged the union to organise mentorship programmes that would connect the youth with more experienced professionals and collaborate with the necessary stakeholders to understand the needs of employers.
The Chairman of the National Youth Council of the Trades Union Congress, Ghana, Dennis Yaw Atuwo, said as the mining sector continued to transform and embrace new technologies, it was essential for young workers to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills.
He expressed the belief that the capacity of the youth would bring about positive change and innovation within the mining sector.
The conference, he said, would offer a vital platform and contribute to the resilience and adaptability in the industry, ensuring that it remained a vital part of the Ghanaian economy for generations to come.
Mr Atuwo indicated that the insights and actionable strategies that would emerge from the conference would have the potential to shape the future of the mining industry in Ghana.
The new normal
The General Secretary of GMWU, Abdual-Moomin Gbana, advised the youth to be conscious of their immediate environment and reposition themselves to confront the new normal and redirect their energy to strengthen a collective voice.
He said the union would do its best to train and retool the youth to develop the skills they needed to respond to the jobs that would be created by the new phenomenon.
Mr Gbana therefore urged governments to domesticate policies that respond to the growing concerns of young people in the country.
He suggested the creation of an enabling environment that guaranteed young people the opportunity to work.