AGL launches apprenticeship programme for host communities


Abosso Gold Fields Limited (AGL), through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, has launched the second edition of the skills training programme for the youth in the area.

The programme is to train 48 youth in fashion and design, auto-electrical, auto-mechanic, car upholstery and welding for a period of two years.

The Ghana Garages Association at Tarkwa has been engaged by the Foundation to carry out the training, with beneficiaries of the programme, passing with National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) certification.

Out of the 48 youth, 10 will be trained to operate heavy-duty mining equipment such as drill rigs, dump trucks and excavators. Engineers and Planners have partnered the foundation for this training.

The trainees will be given additional three months’ internship opportunity to build on their experience in the field of training.  Employment after the programme will be based on the availability of vacancies.

Trainees will receive MINCOM certification upon successful completion of the programme. Over GH¢1.4 million will be invested in the first two years of the training.

Michiel Van der Merwe, General Manager of AGL, speaking at the launch of the programme at Damang in the Prestea Huni Valley District of the Western Region, said all the tools required for the training programme have been provided by the Foundation.

“Trainees will be bussed from their communities to the training centers daily. Also, they will be assisted to set up their own small businesses when they graduate from the programme” he said.

According to him, AGL sees the development of human capital as the foundation for positive change in its host communities.

Through Foundation, he said, several interventions have been rolled out aimed at improving the skill levels of the youth.

The objective, he mentioned, is to pass on skills for self-employment, improve the competitiveness of the trainees on the job market among others.

Mr. Merwe explained that the mine cannot employ everyone in the host communities. For this reason, he said, the company is committed to these training programmes, so that some community youth can find other economic activities besides employment on the mine.

The interventions, he pointed out, include graduate training, heavy duty equipment training and youth apprenticeship training programmes.

Giving a brief history, he stated that in 2012 and 2013, 39 host community youths were trained to operate various heavy-duty equipment, with a good number of them having found jobs.

And about 53 percent of graduate trainees who completed their training with AGL in 2020 have also landed lucrative job offers, he said.

He added that in 2015, 21 community youths were trained in various trades including auto-mechanic, auto-electrical, spraying and welding. These individuals are either self-employed or engaged by some of the support companies in AGL.

Kojo Nyan, Chairman of the employment committee, urged parents and guardians of the beneficiaries to ensure they complete the programme.

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