The youth of the Newmont Ghana Gold Limited (NGGL) in the Ahafo catchment area have called for a new approach to skills training programmes to make them attractive to the youth who are interested to be trained for self-employment.
“Youth employment is the biggest challenge to all nations.
At a forum for the youth of the 10 mining communities of the NGGL in the Ahafo area at Kenyasi No 1, participants said the situation had resulted in the unpreparedness of the youth to be entrepreneurs.
It was organised by the Opportunity Industrialisation Centre International (lOICL) to address the contents of various training programmes which make it unattractive for the youth to start and complete such programmes.
Speaking on behalf of the youth, Mr Eric Antwi-Agyei said in the rush to bridge the youth unemployment gap, successive governments had established various youth initiatives which had encountered a number of challenges.
He mentioned initiatives such as NYEP, LESDEP, MASLOC, Venture Capital and Youth in Agriculture.
Mr Antwi-Adjei said even though they were laudable initiatives, they came with their challenges such as poor implementation and management, lack of job placement and startup capitals, as well as direction from experienced persons.
He said the youth believed that the introduction of formal and informal skills training programmes would go a long way to better their lot.
Mr Antwi-Adjei called for a new approach in the design of skills training to attract the youth to areas such as farming, dressmaking/tailoring, carpentry, driving, bakery, masonry, plumbing, shoe-making, hairdressing and trading.
In his address, the Country Representative of OICL, Mr Frank Agyare, said the organisation had since its establishment in Ghana in 1971, assisted in the training of the youth in vocational and technical skills to make them employable and self-employed.
Mr Agyare observed that the development of information and communications technology (ICT) had only come to enhance vocational and technical training, but had not come to replace them.
According to him, the country needed farmers, welders, fabricators, carpenters, masons, plumbers, tailors, caterers, drivers among others to play their respective roles for development.
He said the current economic pressures on the youth required the country to be innovative in dealing with youth development and added that there was the need for contents of skill training programmes to be attractive to prevent them from straying into areas that would be inimical to the development of the country.
Mr Agyare urged the forum to come out with a blueprint that will unleash the potentials of the youth in the area.