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14.05.2005 Regional News

Skilled personnel told not to depend on white-collar jobs

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Tamale, May 14, GNA - Alhaji Abubakar Saddique Boniface, the Northern Regional Minister, has advised people who have acquired vocational and other employable skills not to depend so much on white-collar jobs for a living.

"Graduates from the vocational training centres and the polytechnics should not depend too much on white-collar jobs since the public sector will gradually diminish while the private sector increases in size" he said.

The minister gave the advice at the passing out of 625 skilled personnel at the Agricultural and Rural Development (ARD) Training Centre in Tamale on Saturday.

The Islamic Republic of Iran built the centre to train school dropouts and other youth in skills such as dressmaking, beekeeping, carpentry, computing and electrical engineering.

The 625 graduates, 300 girls and 325 boys, received sewing machines, carpentry tools, beehives and electrical equipment at a the total cost of 1.5 billion cedis. The minister said about 95 percent of unemployment in the country was caused by the over reliance on white-collar jobs.

Alhaji Boniface said cashew, mango and shea-nuts could do better in the three northern regions and stressed the need for farmers and the youth to contact experts for assistance.

He commended the Iranian government for the support and appealed to the Islamic Republic to assist sporting teams to grow in the northern region.

Ambassador Valiyollah Mohammedi, the Iranian Ambassador in Ghana, said Iran is prepared to help Ghana to develop.

He said education was one key factor that would facilitate Ghana's growth and that it was important for opinion leaders in the country to work tirelessly in ensuring that every child was educated.

The Ambassador said ARD programmes covered the entire three northern regions and that they were helping farmers with tractors and farm implements while some communities were getting grinding mills and hand-dug wells fitted with pumps for good drinking water to curb the guinea worm disease.

He said other areas of intervention were building and rehabilitation of mosques, food security projects, construction of bridges, health centres, libraries and technical and vocational training schools for communities free of charge.

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