The presidential candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), former President John Dramani Mahama, has said the party’s agenda to create one million jobs for the youth will be rooted on technical and vocational skills.
He explained that the age-old national focus on producing graduates for white-collar jobs had rendered many graduates unemployed since most of the emerging industries were looking for workers with technical and vocational skills for employment.
“We have not paid much attention to technical and vocational training over the years but these days, most of the companies that set up in the country have had difficulties finding workers with some of these skills and often rely on workers from elsewhere,” he said.
Mr Mahama, therefore, said the next NDC government would rapidly scale up training in technical and vocational skills to serve as a springboard for the party’s job creation agenda dubbed Edwumapa.
The former President made the pledge last Wednesday when he addressed various professional groups in Ningo, Prampram, Dawhenya, Kpone and Ashaiman on the second day of his campaign tour of the Greater Accra Region.
Explaining how the skills development agenda would be executed, Mr Mahama said beyond building a Skills Development Centre in each district to formally train students in technical and vocational skills, the next NDC government would engage and pay master craftsmen and women to train the youth under a National Apprenticeship Programme.
“We will register all the master crafts men and women and pay them to train apprentices so that when they complete their training, the government will set them up with the equipment they need to start up their own businesses,” he said.
Beginning the second day of his campaign in the region from Old Ningo in the Ningo Prampram Constituency, the NDC presidential candidate paid a courtesy call on the president of the Ningo Traditional Council, Nene Tano Atiapah, promising to complete the sea defence project in the area and also reconstruct the 14 kilometre-road from Old Ningo to Tsopoli.
Nene Atiapah assured the NDC’s presidential candidate of the support of the chiefs and people of the area, saying they had voted for the NDC in each election since 1992.
At Prampram, where he addressed fisher folks after paying a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Prampram, Nene Tetteh Wakah III, Mr Mahama promised to construct a district hospital for the area if elected.
During his stop at Dawhenya where he addressed the association of hairdressers, former President Mahama promised to reconstruct the Tema to Aflao highway, which passes through the town, into a dual carriage road to reduce traffic on that stretch as part of the ‘Big Push’ agenda which he said would be a dedicated fund for infrastructural development.
In Kpone, where he called on the President of the Kpone Traditional Council, Nii Tetteh Otu II, former President Mahama said the NDC would make measured promises that were achievable to ensure the trust of the citizens in the governance process.