Government presents working tools to 500 apprentices in BA

Sunyani (B/A), Jan 30,  GNA – Five districts in the Brong-Ahafo Region were on Friday presented with training tools and equipment to be distributed to 500 apprentices in four trade areas under the National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP).

The tools were presented by Mr Samuel Thompson, Policy and Planning Co-odinator of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and Schedule Officer for the NAP.

The items comprised of those for auto mechanics, cosmetology, garment (dressmaking) and electronics (radio/television) repairing.

They were received by Mr Eric Opoku, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, who handed them over to Mr. Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, Regional Minister and acting District Chief Executive (DCE) for Sunyani West, on behalf of the beneficiary districts.

The other districts are Tain, Tano South, Atebubu-Amanten and Asunafo South.

The NAP under the COTVET of the Ministry of Education (MoE), is designed by government as an intervention to reduce youth unemployment and improve the livelihood of early school leavers in various communities in the country.

It is also a pathway for the youth to engage in trade areas of their choice and to promote industrial villages in the country.

Mr Opoku said government, through the GETFund, had procured training tools worth more than GHC 2 million to train 5,000 apprentices in the four mentioned trades in 50 selected districts, including the five in Brong-Ahafo.

The Deputy Regional Minister explained that, other districts in the region would benefit from the project in the next phase scheduled to start in April this year “since this allocation is meant for the 2011 project”.

Mr Opoku disclosed that COTVET Informal Sector in collaboration with National Apprenticeship Committee (NAC) had already trained more than 1,200 master craft persons (MACs) in the four selected trade areas to train apprentices, under the NAP, in competency based training module.

He indicated that, the government through the GETFund, would also pay allowances of GHC150.00 per trainee per year to the MACs, who would train those apprentices, adding, the training tools would be given to the apprentices on completion of their training as start-up tools.

The Deputy Regional Minister asked DCEs of beneficiary districts to ensure effective monitoring and supervision of the programme for its success.

He urged the media to, in the course of monitoring and supervising the programme, ensures that the programme was being implemented by the district assemblies “in the best interest of the nation”.

Mr. Thompson earlier, indicated that the programme, which had been started on pilot basis, was in phases and had taken off already in the Upper East, Upper West, Northern, Ashanti, Volta and Central Regions.

He said this initiative covering 78 districts in the country “is a competency-based training programme, put together to reduce, if not eliminate the unemployment situation in the country”.

It formed part of recommendations of the Anamoah Mensah Committee set up in 2002 to review the nation’s educational system, Mr. Thompson added.

He said the items consisted of 100 pieces of electric sewing machines, 100 pieces of over-locking machines, 80 boxes of hair-dryers, curling thongs and straighters, 80 boxes of electronic training kits as well as 100 boxes of auto mechanic training kits.

Mr Bukari Zakaria Anaba, DCE for Tano South on behalf of his colleagues, expressed appreciation to COTVET and the Brong-Ahafo Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) for the items, saying their presentation was significant because it marked a justification of the government’s policy of investing in the people.

He gave the assurance that as implementers of government policies at the local level, they would not just distribute the items to beneficiaries but would also ensure effective monitoring, supervision and evaluation of the programme to achieve the desired results for national socio-economic development.

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