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25.04.2004 General News

331 OIC graduates presented with certificates

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Takoradi, April 25, GNA- Mr Joseph Boahen Aidoo, Western Regional Minister, on Saturday said the government would not relent in its efforts to provide jobs for the unemployed. ´

This was contained in an address read for him by Mrs Olivia Opoku-Adomah, Regional Economic Planning Officer at the 26th annual certification and prize-giving day of Sekondi-Takoradi Opportunities Industrialization Centre (OIC) in Takoradi.

Mr Aidoo said the government has made it clear that offering skills and job opportunities to the youth is a priority and it was in furtherance of this that there was a nation-wide exercise to register the unemployed.

He said a comprehensive plan has been put in place to train those registered at vocational and technical institutes in skills of their choice and a number of them have passed out and are gainfully employed. Mr Aidoo said it is the responsibility of all to ensure that the centre is sustained to be able to give more services because of the importance of human resources in nation building.

He said a lot has to be done to keep the centre running and hoped that the authorities of the centre have shifted emphasis on the fee-free concept to "Sustainable cost Recovery Social Enterprise".

He said it is every body's responsibility to ensure that the centre is sustained to enable it, continue to offer skills to the youth. Mr Aidoo urged parents and guardians of beneficiaries to cooperate by accepting to pay minimal fees to support the programme.

Mr Samuel Kpapo Thompson, Programme Manager of the Centre, said 331 trainees passed out in 2003 after completing 12 months intensive courses in office and computer skills, carpentry, masonry, building draughtsmanship, welding and fabrication and batik, tie and dye.

He said the centre trained 71 street children drawn from various locations in the Metropolis in batik tie and dye, carpentry, masonry and welding, under the government's Poverty Reduction Project in 2003. Mr Thompson said the OIC believes that "Everybody is Trainable" and as such the potentials of the less fortunate and marginalized youth must be developed.

He said the government continue to be the centre's major source of funding and during 2003 the centre received 242.4 million cedis from the government.

Mr Thompson said the centre has set up a small scale production unit to engage in economic ventures such as tie and dye production, furniture and woodwork, metal works and building technology to raise funds for its activities.

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