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28.07.2005 General News

Ministry to introduce agriculture training into STEP


Baworo, (Ash), July 28, GNA- The Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment is to introduce an agriculture training project into the Skills Training and Employment Programme (STEP).

The project, which will involve the training of the youth in snail farming, Beekeeping and mushroom farming alongside with the traditional vocational courses being offered under the STEP, will commence on the next phase of the programme scheduled to begin in September 2005. Mr S.V. Apraku-Mensah, National Director of the Integrated Community Centre for Employable Skills (ICCES), made this known at the graduation ceremony of the Baworo ICCES in the Ejisu-Juaben District of Ashanti on Wednesday.

The 28 graduates, who undertook a three-year course in carpentry and joinery, building and construction, dressmaking and fashion, cookery, pomade and soap making, as well as batik tie and dye were presented with certificates.

Mr Apraku-Mensah said the ICCES programme was aimed at offering the youth the opportunity to acquire employable skills to sustain their livelihoods.

He said even though start-up capital promised by the government for the trainees under the STEP and ICCES programmes, had delayed, it would still urge the trainees to form cooperatives to enable them to benefit from loans from banking institutions. Mr Apraku-Mensah appealed to parents to show keen interest in the training programmes by sending their children there to enable them to acquire employable skills.

Mr Yaw Ahenkora Afrifa, Ejisu-Juaben District Chief Executive, in an address read for him, said the centre, which was fundamentally designed to fill a major gap in employment generation was in line with the Ghana poverty reduction strategy. He said the assembly would continue to support the centre to expand its infrastructure to admit more youth in the district for skills training.

Mr Afrifa appealed to the chiefs and people in the community to perform their roles effectively to promote the growth of the centre. Mr Paul Darko, the Centre Manager, appealed to the district assembly, non-governmental organisations and philanthropist to assist the centre to expand its infrastructure to enable it effectively train the youth in vocational skills.