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40,000 students to undergo internship under new govt initiative

ABOUT 40,000 university students will, from next year, have the opportunity to intern with various organisations nationwide under an initiative to be rolled out by the Ministry of Business Development.

Dr Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, the sector minister who announced this , said the initiative dubbed “The Internship”, is to ensure that level 200 to 400 students , acquired work  experience before they completed school.

At the 59th Annual General Meeting of the Ghana Employment Association (GEA) in Accra yesterday, he said some of them would work both in public and private entities in business and other sectors.

“By the time they finish, they would have certain experience including business practices so that after their national service, they would have had some minimum qualification to work,” he said.

Dr Awal therefore appealed to the employers to support the initiative by hosting these students adding that they would be the eventual beneficiaries of the initiative.

Aside human capacity development, he said the ministry would continue to provide training and capital to young entrepreneurs through various interventions being rolled out.

 He expressed concern about the limited indigenous business in the country noting that only 20 per cent of the best 100 companies in the country were owned by Ghanaians and cautioned Ghanaians against fronting.

According to the minister although foreign investment was good, it must not take over domestic investment, saying “Do not front for foreign business, partner them to build competences,” he said.

He said the government would continue to create conducive environment for businesses to grow.

The AGM, which afforded the association an opportunity to take stock of its activities in 2018, was on the theme “Doing Business in Ghana: Challenges and Prospects”.

The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah urged employers to pay the tier-2 pension contributions of their employees or be sanctioned and likewise advised employees to honour their tax obligations.

He called for closer collaboration between the ministry and the GEA to continue sustaining the industrial peace they had jointly brokered over the years and work to resolve other challenges in the sector.

The GEA President, Dan Acheampong implored the government to reduce electricity tariffs and lending rates, stabilise exchange rate and the cedi, and check counterfeiting and illicit trade as they were affecting business.

He noted that although the macroeconomic indicators of the country and the ease of doing business per the World Bank ranking had improved the cost of doing business in the country remained expensive.

“For businesses in Ghana to thrive and also attract new investors, there must be cheaper capital, exchange rate stability, appropriate technology, ready market for goods and services and the requisite human talent and skills-set.

“These must be given greater attention at all times in our quest to improve the environment for doing business in the country” he said and pledged GEA’s readiness to collaborate with the government in this direction.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

PICTURES BY BUXTON

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