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19.12.2004 Regional News

Apprentices in textile production graduate

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Koforidua, Dec 19, GNA - Mr George Abdul, the Eastern Regional Director of the Department of Rural Housing and Cottage Industries, has said lack of keeping proper business accounts by those engaged in vocational trades was affecting the growth of their enterprises.

Speaking at the 20th graduation of 14 apprentices after training in textile, batik tie-and-dye organized by the Gratis-Foundation at Koforidua, he said people in vocational trades lacked the skills and knowledge to build up records to enhance their trades.

Mr Abdul called on vocational training centres to step up entrepreneurial training skills such as accounting and records keeping. He advised the graduands to form groups in other to access loans to start their own enterprises and that local textiles were attractive enough to enjoy the provisions of the Africa Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA).

Mr Osei Ampofo, the Eastern Regional Trade and Industry Officer, said the batik tie-dye products had gained a lucrative foothold in the textile industry mainly because of the global market opportunity for African textiles.

He appealed to the Gratis Foundation to organize regular refresher courses for such graduands to sharpen their productive skills to satisfy the market's ranging taste of patterns and colours.

Mr Isaac Osei-Mensah, the Regional Director of Gratis Foundation, said despite the success of the programme over the years, it was difficult for most graduands to put the skills acquired to their own advantage due to financial difficulties.

He said if those who undergo the training were assisted to set-up small-scale production centres and given adequate working capital, the goal of the Foundation would be realized.

Mr Osei-Mensah appealed to all stakeholders in the training of the unemployed youth to set up a revolving fund that would be readily available for graduands.

Mr Osei-Mensah said the centre was manufacturing 50 sets of gari processing equipments for the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs. He said the centre, which combines classroom and hands-on training for apprentices, has 82 technical apprentices undergoing training in various aspects of engineering, including 50 youth who are undergoing six-month courses.

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