The Ghana Center for Entrepreneurship, Employment and Innovation?s Youth Employment has held a forum in Accra to assess the impact of the Modules of some four Institutions with a primary aim to create jobs in Ghana.

The Forum which was facilitated by the Centre?s Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Armah, was attended by National Coordinator of the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP),Mr. Gariba Adem, Corporate Affairs Manager rlg, Mr Emmanuel Arthur, Zonal Coordinator, Graduate Business Support Scheme, Mr. Kofi Boakye, Chairman of the Technical Board of the Graduate Business Support Scheme, Mr. Yaw Adu Mensah, who also doubles as a Consultant to the Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Centers Programme.

The twenty (20) entrepreneurs were to create a synergy, harmonize the efforts of these job creating institutions, assess the impact made by these organizations on the youth so far, to understand their mandate with regards to their focus groups, differentiating the concentration of their modules as well as focusing on assessing the sustainability of the employment modules of these institutions who were present.

The institutions took turns to explain their mandate, modules, and their focus groups, funding sources, work chain and a general roadmap towards reducing unemployment in Ghana.

There was a general consensus on the inability of the statistical service to provide accurate data on Unemployment and to collate information from these institutions for policy formulation and monitoring.

The institutions expressed their willingness to collaborate with the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) to collate such important demographic information needed for proper planning in Ghana.

For his part, the Coordinator for LESDEP, Mr. Gariba, explained that LESDEP was established generally to equip the masses or people generally in the unskilled labour force category of Ghana, and generally gave preference to people who had some prior skills training. According to Him, 20,000 people registered with LESDEP last year, but LESDEP only trained and provided support for 10,000 people.

He disclosed that this year, LESDEP has registered 65,000 people for training with 25,000 to be supported with materials for business start-up.

According to him, LESDEP aside its training for its beneficiaries also provides material support to beneficiaries of schemes such as the Social Investment Fund geared towards building capacity of Youth for Job Creation.

When asked about recovering investments into start-up of beneficiaries, Mr. Gariba stated that through their two credit schemes, participants are readily paying and saving for themselves.

He said in some regions the re-payment on items given out is almost 80% ensuring the continuity of their program.

He stated that soon, LESDEP will introduce a new form of passenger tri-cycle (Rick-wash) in some regions to ensure better safety for passengers who otherwise use the Okada in areas which are not easily accessible.

According to the Consultant to the Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Centre Programme, Mr. Yaw Adu Mensah, contrary to the views that the National Youth Employment Programme did not have an exit strategy, the Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Centre was set-up to absorb those who exit the NYEP modules.

He added that the Youth Enterprises and Skills Development Programme, similar in operations to that of LESDEP setup persons who exit of the NYEP programms in agro-business, beads making, Dress Making amongst others.

Mr. Kofi Boayke of the Graduate Business Support Scheme, who explained their mandate, stated that the Graduate Business Support Scheme was to train Unemployed Graduates who after their National Service, required some form of training, exposure, mentoring and support to acquire skills in some specialized areas for Business Start-up.

These programmes, he said, are offered annually by the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI) in four parts with duration of 12months.

Mr. Kofi Boakye highlighted GEBSS innovation of working on an innovative Graduate Business Insurance Scheme with private insurance companies to address the challenges of access.

The Corporate Affairs Manager of rlg, Mr Emmanuel Arthur, explained the programmes of rlg and its continuous interest in improving the IT infrastructure, the access to IT products in Ghana, as well as the basic training in repair works and assembling of such IT products.

According to him, rlg has so far trained 80,000 people out of their stated goal of training 1million people with an agreed goal to expand access to their training modules this year.

He revealed that? the company is currently also training persons with disabilities excluding the blind, who in their second phase after securing the machines and equipment to train such special class will benefit from the mobile phone repairs module, laptop assembling amongst others.

He stated that this year, rlg will embark on an economic tree planting exercise.

According to him, rlg intends to plant 8 million seedlings particularly in Coconut across the coastal belt.

STORY: KORYEKPOR AWLESU FREEMAN

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