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01.07.2004 Regional News

Minister asks beneficiaries of Youth Development Fund to pay back

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Sunyani (B/A) July 1, GNA- Mr Yaw Adjei-Duffour, Deputy Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, has called on beneficiaries of the 40 billion- cedi Youth Development Fund set up by Government as a start-up capital for entrepreneurial

Projects, to pay back in time to help increase the number of recipients. Mr Adjei-Duffour was speaking at a graduation ceremony for 103 trainees of the Regional Integrated Community Centre for Employable Skills (ICCES) in Sunyani.

The graduates under went a three-year training course in batik and tie-and-dye, soap and pomade production and food processing, under the Government's Skills Training and Employment Programme (STEP). The Minister advised the graduates to learn how to be competitive on the job market, by availing themselves of entrepreneurial training programmes to help them diversify and improve on the quality of their products and also operate in a cost-efficient manner.

"It is the only way through which your small business ventures will grow... and subsequently penetrate larger local and international markets." He said large number of the youth does not possess the requisite employable skills, training or qualifications that would enable them to enter the job market.

This he said prompted the Government to establish the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Action for Employable Generation (AFEG) to focus on Employment Generation.

Mr Apraku Mensah, Director of ICCES said 6000 people were expected to benefit from the STEP programme country-wide. Mrs Akua Akubuor Debrah, acting Regional Director of Education who presided over the function urged the ICCES and STEP to monitor the progress of graduates.

The graduates mounted an exhibition to showcase their handiworks.

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