Mr Ignatius Baffour Awauh, Minister for Employment and Labour Relation has called on the general public, particularly youth, stakeholders and parents to priorities skill training, be it formal or informal to drive national sustainable development for Ghana’s economic transformation.
The Minister noted technology was in these days rendering many formal jobs irrelevant, hence the need for youth to adopt artisan skills training to keep them relevant in the job market and business environment.
The Minister who doubled as the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Sunyani West Constituency made the call when speaking at the launch of Sunyani Youth Development Association (SYDA) integrated sewing project in Sunyani.
He expressed his heartfelt appreciation to SYDA for such a ‘live changing initiatives’, saying “this is a laudable project geared towards economic transformation for national growths”.
The MP said artisanal skills have a high potential of creating job opportunities for the citizenry, hence, the government was determined to make technical/vocational education a major component in the education curriculum.
This, he noted could reduce the rate of unemployment in the country within the shortest possible time.
The employment Minister expressed the optimism that “the SYDA integrated sewing project is already spearheading the agenda”.
The project was funded by the Australian Government through the Australian High Commission’s Direct Aid Program (DAP).
On the theme “Equipping the Youth With Employable Skills; a Tool to Sustain Ghana Beyond Aid” the SYDA sewing project is a value chain project from kente and smock fabric production, smock weaving, kente weaving, dressmaking and designing with beads as accessories like bead anklets, wristlets and necklaces and seek to train not less than 180 people.
Other laudable modules of SYDA skills training with not less than 14 professional volunteers always ready to assist members to acquire the requisite skills and knowledge in pastries, carpentry, auto mechanics, plumbing, leather works, visual artworks, make-up artist, masonry, welding and hairdressing.
SYDA projects were designed to create employment models as contributions to the government to address unemployment situations, said Mr Atta Akoto senior, President of the association.
“Trainees after their two or three years training period would be given start-up kits to establish themselves and
this would help put Sunyani, Brong-Ahafo, Ghana and Africa on the path to entrepreneurial and artisanal skills development,” he added.
Mr. Akoto senior continued that SYDA activities and collaborations are engineered to work enough towards the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 1 to 17, thus, good health, education, employment and the others by the year 2030.
He said the association has by that introduced weekly exercise sessions on Saturdays for good health and well being as goal 3 of the SDGs seek to achieve and entreated all persons to join the jogging and aerobic sessions.
“To enable SYDA to work very efficiently to achieve the SDGs as goal 17 talks about, the association is in strong collaboration with some organizations such as the National Youth Authority (NYA), Sunyani Zongo Youth for Development and Sunyani Area Two Youth Association,” Mr. Akoto senior stated.
He revealed that SYDA is currently working on a coconut plantation project with the National Youth Authority to plant about 10,000 pieces of coconut trees along banks of rivers in Sunyani to preserve the rivers and protect the water bodies from encroachment.
Mr. Akoto senior commended the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions director of the NYA, Madam Fati Bamba for her immense support to SYDA.
Again, SYDA was in conjunction with an international nongovernmental organization (NGO) thus, Initiative Black & White Ghana and Germany to complete a public education and sensitisation on illegal migration project funded by GIZ.
The irregular migration menace awareness campaign took SYDA to Nkrankrom, Kyekyewere, Adamsu and some Senior High Schools in the Bono Region with effective contributions of the regions directorate of the Migration Information Center, the Ghana News Agency (GNA), Cheers FM and Radio BAR.
“Not intended to expose our youths to needless exploitation for one’s selfish interest, the association welcome responsible collaborations to help push for youth and national development,” Mr. Akoto senior concluded.
By: Christopher Tetteh