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21.09.2004 Regional News

Sixty-one unemployed youth graduate under STEP programme

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Mamponteng (Ash), Sept. 21, GNA - Sixty-one unemployed youth in the Kwabre District of Ashanti have completed a six-month vocational and technical skills training programme under the government's Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP).

Forty-eight out of the number were trained in textile and soap making, while 13 were also trained in traditional footwear. Speaking at the graduation ceremony at Mamponteng on Monday, Alhaji Ahmed Akwasi Yeboah, Kwabre District Chief Executive said STEP programme is one of the major efforts the government is making to promote accelerated growth, employment generation and wealth creation for the benefit of all Ghanaians.

He said the first phase of the programme trained about 3,600 persons in various technical/vocational trades in the early part of 2003 nationwide and the second phase trained 6,000 more youth in November 2003 to acquire employable skills.

The DCE commended Rohi Consulting Company, who was originally engaged for the task at Ahwiaa Craft Centre to train 50 youth in the surrounding communities but went the extra mile to train 61 this year. He cautioned the graduates to put what they have learnt from the programme into good use by working hard so that they could improve on what they have learnt to enable them contribute effectively to the development of the country.

Alhaji Yeboah urged them to work diligently and manage their businesses well and added that, modalities are being worked out to provide credit facilities to serve as an initial capital for them to expand their business ventures.

Mr David Atiga, Director of Administration of Rohi said the company has since January to date trained over 300 unemployed youth in food processing, textile making, traditional footwear, kente weaving, basketry and traditional smock making.

This training programme took place at Bonwire, Ahwiaa, Obuasi, Offinso, Nkawie and Ohwimase, all in the Ashanti Region. Mr Atiga hoped schools, district assemblies and other institutions will give contracts to these group of trained personnel, who will provide quality work at lesser costs.

He appealed to the government to give the graduates the needed financial support and more training programmes to expand their businesses.

Dr Kofi Kwansa Filson, Kwabre District Director of Food and Agriculture, hoped that the programme has boosted the morals of the trainees and that it is going to make them confident enough to step out for new life.

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