Accra, April 30, GNA- A five-billion-cedis micro-credit scheme has been earmarked for the second phase of the Skills Training Employment Placement (STEP) Programme which took off in November last year. Dr Angela Ofori-Atta, Deputy Minister of Manpower Development and Employment who disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview said the facility would enable the beneficiaries to start their own small enterprises.
Dr Ofori-Atta said by March this year, a total of 9,370 Ghanaians had been registered for this phase in 250 institutions nationwide. She gave the assurance that by the middle of this year, additional 5,000 people would be registered, adding that they would be trained by the close of the year, if more HIPC funds were made available.
The Deputy Minister stated that under Vocational Agriculture, Training Programmes had been organised in rearing of grass-cutter, snails and leafy vegetables to nearly 5,000 trainees countrywide.
Dr Ofori-Atta said a further 2,000 would participate in an integrated bee/vegetables/rabbit farming ventures.
On phase one of the programme, the Deputy Minister said, in 2001, about one million people registered as unemployed or underemployed.