The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) project meant to provide the youth with technical and entrepreneurial skills has trained 16,738 youth to help address the growing unemployment in the country.
Currently, about 4,300 are under training and will soon graduate to bridge the skills gap in the country.
The Project Director of YIEDIE, Mrs Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi, who disclosed this at the YIEDIE Awareness Creation and Registration Fair held in Accra, said she was optimistic the project would exceed its target of training 23,700 youth by 2020.
The fair was organised to enable the youth to register and enrol on the programme,
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YIEDIE is a five-year project to create economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector for 23,700 economically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 17 and 24 in Accra, Ashaiman, Kumasi, and Takoradi.
As part of the programme, players in the construction industry mentored and educated the participants about the job prospects and opportunities in the construction industry.
Sponsored by Mastercard Foundation, the YIEDIE Project which ends in 2020 is being implemented by Global Communities, an international non-profit organisation, with other partners as Opportunities Industrialisation Centre Ghana, African Aurora Business Network LLC, Republic Boafo Limited and Artisans Association of Ghana.
Mrs Mills-Odoi urged the youth to take advantage of the numerous job opportunities in the construction sector to build their skills and create their own businesses to address the growing unemployment situation in the country.
She said the construction sector was booming in the country and there were a lot of job openings in the sector, which the youth could take advantage of to improve their lives.
Mrs Mills-Odoi explained that the YIEDIE project, among others, offered training to young women and men in technical construction skills, access savings and loans product, and also support them to start their own businesses.
“The project applies an integrated, youth-led market-systems model to improve the capacity of youth and service providers across the value chain. It is training young women and men in technical construction skills and helping the youth to grow and start small businesses. It is also increasing collaboration and support among players in the construction sector to improve the enabling environment,” she said.
The YIEDIE Project Director indicated that after the beneficiaries had undergone six months’ technical training and three weeks’ entrepreneurial training, they were linked with construction companies for attachment and also supported to create their own businesses.
The Secretary to the Executive Council of the Ghana Real Estate Developers Association, Sammy Amegayibor, who is a Mentor on the YIEDIE project, described it as a “very encouraging initiative,” as it offered free technical and entrepreneurial training for the youth.
He said there was huge skills gap in the construction industry and players in the sector had to import labour to work on their projects.
The Chief Executive Officer of Akotesi Company Limited, Madam Sylvia Eyeson, urged the youth, especially women, to enter the construction industry.
She said the construction sector was not the preserve of men, and that what their male counterparts could do they could do better.
A beneficiariay of the YIEDIE Project who learnt tiling, Doris Deku, said she had established her own tiling business and engaged about four people.
She encouraged the youth not to sit idle but join the YIEDIE programme to build their skills in order to be employable.