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04.12.2004 Regional News

39 graduates from STEP programme in Nsoatre

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Nsoatre (B/A), Dec. 4, GNA - The Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah on Friday said it was the aim of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Government to encourage the youth in the country to acquire necessary skill training to enable them adequately fend for themselves and also contribute to the socio-economic development of the society.

Mr Baffour-Awuah said this when speaking at a graduation ceremony of 39 unemployed youth, who underwent training under the Government's Skill Training and Employment Placement (STEP) programme at the Nsoatre Women's Training Institute at Nsoatre near Sunyani.

He said unemployment in the country is one of the priority areas of the government when it took over the reigns of the nation from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) after the 2000 elections. The Sunyani MCE said the government's nation-wide registration exercise of unemployed youth in the year 2001 was therefore a matter of course, noting that, one does not need to be an academician before one's talent could be utilised.

He said the Government's decision on the new education reform programme from the basic level was another strategy to gradually unearth talents within our pupils and students in that level of our educational set up, before they reached tertiary level.

Mr Baffour-Awuah tasked the graduates to put into practice, the skills they had acquired by working hard.

The Municipal Assembly was constructing one semi-detached bungalow for the Headmistress of Nsoatre Women's Training Institute under the Assembly's HIPC Fund this year, he announced, adding that, the Assembly was also to construct girls' dormitory block for Nsoatre Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School (SAHESS) through the Assembly's GETFUND this year.

In a welcoming address, Mrs. Mary Yeboah, Headmistress of the Institute said her outfit formed part of the 350 vocational schools the government assigned in the year 2003 to offer training to the unemployed youth in the country that registered for employment in 2001. Mrs. Yeboah said originally, 42 applicants entered to be trained but only 39 were able to complete the training.

She said her outfit was assigned to offer two disciplines under the STEP programme and mentioned catering and Garment making as the disciplines, stressing that 18 of them entered for catering and 24 for garment making.

It took the catering trainees three months to go through preparation of foreign dishes, traditional and contemporary Ghanaians dishes, packaging and food preservation, while the one-year-duration garment making trainees were taught in dressmaking including night gowns and coats, pyjamas, vest or waste coast, slit and kaba, wedding gowns, shroud among others.

She appealed to the Municipal Assembly and the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) to give the graduates seed money from the Poverty Alleviation Fund to help them start their business and advised the graduates to do away with laziness if they were to succeed in life. 4 Dec. 04

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