Up to 2,919 youth nationwide have so far received entrepreneurial training in diverse skills under the Apprenticeship to Entrepreneurial (A2E) component of the Young Africa Works project.
Of the figure, 2,661 have been supported with start-up kits to set up their own businesses in trade areas including soap/detergent making (1,416); general electricals (six); dressmaking (461); hairdressing (305); welding and fabrication (70); baking and confectionery (78); and auto-electricians (15).
Data released yesterday by the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI) – now Ghana Enterprise Agency (GEA), which is collaborating with the Mastercard Foundation to run the project – said start-up kits had been presented to 87 youth who studied phone repairs; one barber; 31 leather-work artisans; 143 make-up artists; 33 bead-makers and 15 manicure and pedicure practitioners.
The Young Africa Works Project is under the Youth in Employment and Entrepreneurship Programme (YEEP) and aims at equipping 39,000 young women and men with employable skills from 2019 to 2022.
The A2E component focuses on using apprenticeship training to equip unemployed youth under approved Skilled Craft Persons (SCPs) or artisans, who are supported to write National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) certification examinations and given Start-Up kits.
The Executive Director of the NBSSI, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, told the Ghanaian Times that targets for the component was to enrol and train 12,000 youth in various trades.
“At the end of the project, 10,000 young women and men are expected to successfully graduate under the component; and 6,000 will be supported with start-up kits to start-up their business, while 2000 who wish to be employed will be linked to salaried work,” she said.
Of the 2,919 beneficiaries so far – of whom 70 percent are women – 1,316 started training from the basics while 1,603 received top-up training in soap-making/detergent, beads-making, make-up and manicure and pedicure.
She said this year alone 7,141 new apprentices – made up of 6,187 females and 953 males from 32 districts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti, Eastern, Savanna, Bono and Central Regions – have been matched with 2,042 SCPs to learn skills in respective trades of interest to them.
She said more apprentices are being matched continuously to SCPs in the districts, and new trades of focus include tiling, auto-spraying, bee-keeping, plumbing and air-conditioning, while more efforts are being made to introduce new trades so as to add variety.
Mrs. Yankey-Ayeh explained that the matchmaking process considers the location of both SCPs and apprentices to minimise absenteeism by trainees, who use distance as a reason to stay out of the intensive six-month technical training.
Apart from monitoring new apprentices and SCPs to ascertain their progress at the job sites, the project implementors are keeping their eyes on start-up beneficiaries to give them any needed support.