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09.06.2004 Regional News

Workshop organised for ICCES Coordinators

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Sunyani (B/A), June 9, GNA- A four-day workshop organized by the National Secretariat of Integrated Community Centre For Employable Skills (ICCES) for its Regional Coordinators and Centre Managers began on Tuesday in Sunyani.

About 40 participants including five females, selected from the Northern sector of the country, are attending the workshop. It is the second in a series organized by the management of ICCES since its partnership with the Faculty of Applied Arts and Technology Education of the University College of Winneba, Kumasi Campus, to update the knowledge and skills of the participants.

The first workshop, sponsored by the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment was held at Ajumako in the Central Region in January this year for participants from the Southern Sector. The workshop was sponsored by the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, said in an opening address that the establishment of the ICCES was government's response to unemployment among the youth, especially those in the rural communities.

He explained that the centres, together with other training establishments and programmes, were geared to providing employable and entrepreneurial skills to unemployed youth to enable them to establish their own businesses and to employ others.

The Regional Minister added that the measure was also aimed at reducing the dependency rate, which he said, had been a major drawback to the country's economy.

"In that circumstance the poor will also continue to be plagued by low income and will not be in a position to access the basic necessities of life, such as education and good health", he said. The Regional Minister added: "In view of this the government has been pre-occupied with poverty reduction, hence the adoption of the Poverty Reduction Strategy Programme (PRSP) as a medium term policy".

Nana Seinti said the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment was implementing skills training and employment programme to train the large army of school leavers in both the urban and rural areas to acquire skills.

"The programme has an aim to enable the youth to become self-employed and to provide the needed manpower for industries in the Golden Age of Business", he stated.

Nana Seinti noted that instructors of skills training institutions played an important role in the teaching and learning process, saying the success or failure of the STEP Programme depended on them. "You are not only to impart the skills you have acquired, but also to motivate your trainees. The mastery of the subject is not enough but the method of teaching is very important so as to make the trainees to understand", he stated.

He urged the instructors to come up with innovative ideas that would attract more youth into the training centers, by linking with NGOs to provide trainees with tools and equipment.

Nana Seinti asked the instructors at the workshop to look at the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in administration and training, which he said were the main areas of specialization.

"The demands of today's job market requires that everybody acquires, at least, some rudimentary knowledge in computer studies", he said and cautioned that "in a few years to come anyone without the basic knowledge in computer application would become redundant on the job market".

Mr. Francis Archer, leader of the resource persons said the workshop was conceived out of a similar one, which took place in Sunyani a year ago for Principal/Proprietors of Private Vocational/Technical Institutions.

He said the importance of the workshop stemmed from the fact that organizations needed to constantly retrain and revitalize their human resources if they were to function effectively and stay competitive in the world economy.

Mr. Seth Victor Apraku Mensah, National Director of ICCES said the organization was first established in 1987 under the Ministry of Education and was taken over by the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment in 1992.

Topics treated at the workshop include Entrepreneurship, the five basic functions of the Manager, writing of management documents and performance appraisal.

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