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23.12.2005 Regional News

GRATIS Foundation trainees graduate

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Sekondi, Dec. 23 GNA - Some 22 unemployed youth, have graduated in metal machining, welding fabrication, carpentry and batik, tie and dye production at the GRATIS Foundation in Sekondi at a ceremony on Thursday.

The trainees were presented with certificates while eight members of staff of the foundation including the Western Regional Manager were also honoured for their dedicated service.

The Sekondi branch of GRATIS has since 1995 trained a total of 70 unemployed youth under its three-year technical apprenticeship-training programme.

Some 317 youth, majority of them girls have also been trained under the four-month batik, tie and dye training programme. Mr George Twumasi, Western Regional Manager of GRATIS, speaking at the ceremony commended the government, the European Union and the Canadian International Development Agency for supporting the training programmes of the Foundation.

He said GRATIS Foundation would continue to pursue its objective to provide skills training for the youth to promote the operations of small and medium scale enterprises to accelerate the country's industrialisation.

Mr Twumasi said the training of the youth to acquire skills that would further enhance government development programmes had reached a crucial stage and called on the people, especially parents and the youth to cooperate with and support youth training institutions. He called for assistance for the youth, who had acquired skills to enable them to establish small-scale production centres to employ and train others.

The Sekondi branch manufactures food processing and sanitation equipment, these include palm oil, shea butter and vegetable oil extracting machines, tractor-trailers and garbage push trucks. Mr James Quayson, member of the Sekondi GRATIS advisory board, who presided, told the graduates that, it was only through honesty, dedication and hard work that they would succeed in life. He advised them to adopt positive approach to time management and avoid the "African punctuality" that had impacted negatively on the society.