The youth must 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, the Project Director of the Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE), Mrs Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi has said.
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 disclosed this at the YIEDIE awareness creation and registration fair held in Accra at the premises of Atinka FM, an Accra-based radio station, to give opportunity for the youth to register and enroll on the YIEDIE programme.
The 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 17-24 in areas such as 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.
Mrs Mills-Odoi explained that the YIEDIE project, among others, offered training for 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 amongst construction sector stakeholders to improve their enabling environment,” she said.
The YIEDIE Project Director disclosed that currently 16,739 youth had benefited from the programme and 4300 were currently under training and was optimistic the project would exceed its target of 23,700 by the year 2020.
Mrs Mills-Odoi indicated that after the beneficiaries had undergone six months technical training and three weeks entrepreneurial training; they are 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.
Mr Amegayibor, who is the Managing Director of Homes Direct, therefore entreated the Ghanaian youth to take advantage of the YIEDIE programme to build their technical skills for the construction sector to address the labour shortfall in the sector.
The Chief Executive Officer of Akotesi Company Limited, Madam Sylvia Eyeson urged the youth especially women to enter the construction industry.
By Kingsley Asare