Young Africa Works Project offers entrepreneurial training to 2,919 youth

A total of 2,919 youth nationwide have, so far, received entrepreneurial training in diverse skills under the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurial (A2E) component of the Young Africa Works Project.

Of the figure, 2,661 have been supported with start-up kits to set up their own businesses in trade areas including soap/detergent making (1,416); general electricals (six); dressmaking (461); hairdressing (305); welding and fabrication (70); baking and confectionery (78) and auto-electricians (15).

Data released yesterday by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) which is collaborating with the Mastercard Foundation to run the project said start-up kits had been presented to 87 youth who studied phone repairs; one barber; 31 leather works artisans; 143 make-up artists; 33 bead makers and 15 manicure and pedicure practitioners.

The Young Africa Works Project which is under the Youth in Employment and Entrepreneurship Programme (YEEP) aims at equipping 39,000 young women and men with employable skills from 2019 to 2022.

The A2E component focuses on using apprenticeship training to equip unemployed youth under approved Skilled Craft Persons (SCPs) or artisans, supported to write National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) certification examination and given Start-Up kits.

The Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh told the Ghanaian Times that targets for the component was to enrol and train 12,000 youth in various trades.

“At the end of the project, 10,000 young women and men are expected to successfully graduate under the component and 6,000 will be supported with start-up kits to start up their business and 2,000 who wish to be employed would be linked to salaried work”, she said.

Of the 2,919 beneficiaries so far, of whom 70 per cent were women, 1,316 started the training from the basics while 1,603 received top-up skills in soap /detergent making, beads making, make up and manicure and pedicure.

This year alone, she said 7,141 new apprentices made up of 6,187 females and 953 males from 32 districts in Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern, Savanna, Bono and Central regions have been matched to 2,042 SCPs to learn skills in respective trades of interest to them.

She said more apprentices were being matched continuously to SCPs in the districts and new trades of focus include tiling, auto spraying, bee keeping, plumbing and air-conditioning whereas efforts were being made to introduce new trades to add variety.

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh explained that the matchmaking process considered the location of both SCPs and apprentices to minimise absenteeism by trainees using distance as a reason to stay out of the intensive six months technical training.

Apart from monitoring new apprentices and SCPs to ascertain their progress at the job sites, the project implementors were keeping their eyes on start-up beneficiaries to give them the needed support.

BY JONATHAN DONKOR

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