Gold Fields Ghana Foundation yesterday launched a Graduate Trainee Programme at its Tarkwa Mine at Tarkwa in the Western Region with a maiden intake of 47 graduates.
The first batch, enrolled in November 2018, are currently acquiring job-relevant knowledge and skills in mining, engineering, metallurgy, finance, human resources and community affairs.
Gold Fields Ghana Foundation is supporting the programme with US$500,000 for a two-year period, after which a new batch would be enrolled.
The Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa, Alfred Baku, who launched the programme, noted that graduate unemployment continued to be a major challenge for the nation hence the company’s resolve to initiate such programme to empower young tertiary graduates.
He told the gathering that after four years of tertiary education and one year of national service, parents expected to see their children gainfully employed but, many, however, do not achieve this aspiration, as graduates struggled to find meaningful jobs.
He said: “This is why we are excited today as we launch the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation Graduate Trainee Programme for university graduates from our host communities.
He indicated that the Learning and Development Department had arranged the programme to enhance the learning experiences of trainees, who would learn the various aspects of the mining operations.
Mr Baku explained that the programme was an integral part of our host community skills development strategy to enhance the quality of human capital in communities hosting the Tarkwa and Damang mines, as averagely, about 40 per cent of its budget, annually, went into that project.
He said “After successfully completing the programme, it is hoped that these young graduates will acquire the right skills and competencies to make them employable in their chosen professions.”
Mr Baku reminded the graduate trainees that much as Gold Fields desired to employ them after investing so much, the company was also preparing them for the job market.
“We don’t have the vacancies to absorb all of them after the programme. Where we have vacancies that match their skills set, they will be our first priority for employment. We, therefore, entreat our graduate trainees to see the training programme as an opportunity to equip them with job-relevant knowledge and skills for the job market, especially in the mining and the extractive industries”, he said.
“We also want our graduate trainees to know that we have been monitoring their performance and work conduct since their enrolment on the programme. I am happy about the positive feedback regarding the remarkable performance and work ethics of the graduates over the past year,” Mr Baku added.
Applauding Gold Fields’ contributions to education, the Gyaasehene of the Apinto Divisional Area, Nana Dr Adarkwa Bediako III, urged the supervisors and trainers not to see the graduates as threat to their positions, but, rather, work hard and nurture them to become national assets.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TARKWA