Low skills perpetuate poverty and inequality. Skills development can reduce unemployment, raise incomes and improve standards of living. Helping young people to develop skills makes them economic independent. Against this backdrop, over 250 youth in Tamale are currently undergoing a six months training course in various skills development project. Dubbed ” Youth life 2.0 Project”, the beneficiaries are receiving training in hairdressing, tailoring, makeup, carpentry, masonry, POP, tiling, and electrical installation among others.
The project, which is being organized by Youth Empowerment For Life Ghana, YEFL, a local NGO with support from the Catholic Relief Services, CRS, is aimed at giving employable skills to out of school and unemployed youth to improve their economic livelihood as well as support their families.
Hikma Kadri is a 25-year-old girl working with Tibzaa Integrated farms, a social enterprise that trains small scale farmers. Hikma is the first female to become a fully licensed tractor operator in the northern part of the country. With passion and determination, she fought her way through to get a skill in the male dominated career. She is proud to acquire a skill that is making her economically independent and wished that the youth especially females will not shy away from engaging in male dominated skills training. Hikma advises young people to endeavour to avail themselves for any vocational and technical training since that is the surest way to stay relevant to their families and society.
In recent years, unemployment has become a global issue facing young people. Although many young people earn a college education and even an advanced degree, they struggle to find jobs in their chosen field. There are many reasons for the rise in unemployment including a lack of jobs and a growing population. For young people today, it is more important than ever that they are well equipped to enter the workforce. Despite being educated, many lack skills they need to get the jobs they want. For this reason, the Catholic Relief Services, CRS has been providing support to YEFL Ghana under its ‘Youth life 2.0 Project”, to support young people through entrepreneurship skills training to become useful in society.
At a community forum in Tamale to get feedback from beneficiaries, parents and service providers after three months into the program, the Acting Director of YEFL-Ghana, Abdul-Ganiyu Alhassan expressed gratitude to CRS for making the project a success. According to him, plans are far advanced to provide start-up, mentoring and other packages for all trainees adding that trainees will be supported to take professional exams including the National Vocational Training Institute, NVTI, to become professional and license operators in their chosen fields.
The Country Representative for CRS, Daniel Mumuni, said CRS is particularly interested in youth and life skills development and that is why his outfit will continue to support the youth to get gainful employment. Mr Mumuni charged young people to avail themselves in any vocational training to become useful citizens.
Various service providers of the training took turns to admonished the beneficiaries to take the training seriously. Parents and beneficiaries commended YEFL Ghana and CRS for the timely intervention and pleaded with them to sustain the project in order to benefit more of the youth.
Story filed by: Joyce Kantam Kolamong