The National Board for Small Scale Industries in partnership with Mastercard Foundation has oriented Skilled Master Craft Persons (SMPs) towards the creation of dignified jobs for the youth. The orientation comes on the back of its Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurship (A2E) component of the Entrepreneurship Development and Employment Programme targeted at young people, particularly women.
The skilled crafts persons; hairdressers, fashion designers, seamstress and tailors, carpenters, plumbers, caterers, floral designers and others have been empowered to guide and train others in their skilled professions.
Speaking at the orientation, the A2E National Coordinator, Cynthia Debrah said the project aims to reduce the unemployment rate in the country: “What we seek to do is the matching, we would allocate the apprentices to respective skilled craft people that we have had the sensitization with, and the apprentices would be given the chance to choose places convenient to them so they can lead the skill.
She also said after the training, every apprentice would be provided with toolkits to start their own business and get the opportunity to employ others: “The only finance we give to them is the startup kit we give them various start up kits, when it comes to dress makers, we give them all that they need except electricity, table and chairs.
We give them scissors, machines and even pieces of cloth to start business with, everything that they would need. If you have that you can start sowing and even selling to make your own capital. Same with the welding and fabrication, baking and confectionery and all that, so in a way we have all financed them by giving them all that” she stated.
The A2E program seeks to train about 16,000 unemployed youth through vocational/technical skills and provide income generation opportunities for them along with entrepreneurship development. A2E will also strengthen Skilled Craft people and artisans through business acceleration programs such as mentoring, coaching and counseling.
Skilled Master Craft Persons (SMPs)
Some SMPs who spoke to the media described the A2E programme as a brilliant project that would ensure that most young men and women learn skills that they can depend on. They however said the project would broaden their scope and provide them with more people to train on vocations such as catering, fashion, floral designing, dress making and so on.
Mame Esi Grant one of the SMPs stressed that the future and growth of Ghana depends on micro small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) hence much attention must be paid in that area. She added that and they are poised to train and equip the apprentices with dignified skills.