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LESDEP to exceed target of creating 40,000 businesses

By GNA

Accra, Sept 14, GNA – Government's Local Enterprises and Skills Development (LESDEP) programme is said to be making tremendous impact in the area of job creation as this year's target of creating 40,000 businesses is likely to be exceeded.

LESDEP, a demand-driven programme that seeks to create and facilitate the acquisition of technical and entrepreneurial skills for the unemployed, has so supported 46,652 Ghanaians in various vocations nationwide.

Government targeted to support 40,000 individuals this year in areas such as construction, ICT services, transportation, grasscutter rearing, tailoring, barbering, photography, fashion and garment and catering under LESDEP, but so 30,993 people have been reached. Last year it helped 15,659 individuals.

Mr George Dake, Business Development Manager addressing journalists in Accra at a press briefing said the programme was within scheduled and that the target would definitely be met.

“LESDEP is helping a great deal to bridge the unemployment gap and bringing a lot of hope for many who desire to improve their lives.

“But we have a huge deficit of individuals who have applied for support and we are working so hard to meet their demands. Up to date we have 133,073 total registered individuals.

Mr Dake indicated that the successful story hinged also on the fact that the initiative was a public private partnership programme, which had helped in the recovery rate of the equipment loan facility to the beneficiaries. The recovery rate is about 75%.

He said monitoring and evaluation carried out so far showed a good performance on the part of most beneficiaries stressing also that LESDEP had set up a post business advisory services to ensure sustenance and proper management of individuals' businesses.

Explaining further how the programme works, Mr Ernest Aseidu Caesar, the National Coordinator of LESDEP, said the criteria for selecting a beneficiary followed needs assessment and had no political or ethnic colourisation.

Through the needs assessment, he said, LESDEP had designed various skills development modules throughout the country currently. Some of which are information technology training, mobile phone lap top repairs, local garment and fashion, beauty care, local food and catering services, bead making and window and sliding door creation.

He said every Ghanaian was qualified and once he or she applied through the district, the support would definitely come after evaluation of once proposal.

So far, Mr Aseidu said, fashion and garment, catering services and transport businesses were the three most demanding businesses under the programme.

LESDEP is a wholly Government of Ghana funded programme. Mr Aseidu said prospective beneficiaries registered for free to attain the requisite skills training and after completion they were given the required equipment for their chosen trade.

LESDEP training in all the trade modules are implemented in conjunction with the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and other agencies including the national youth council and GRATIS.

It falls under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

GNA