Over 1000 persons trained in basket weaving

Over one thousand beneficiaries of the Basket Weaving Project under the Trades and Vocations Module of the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) has passed out after six months training in Bolgatanga.

The graduation ceremony on Wednesday, marked the transition of beneficiaries into a second stage of the project, initiated by Craft Pro and the NYEP, which would ensure project sustainability and job security, sought to support beneficiaries to expand their business ventures in the basket industry.

Addressing the beneficiaries at the ceremony, Mr Henry Kangah, Executive Director of Craft PRO Limited said in fulfillment of efforts to create sustainable jobs for Ghanaian youth, NYEP and Craft PRO set out in 2010 to train young people in basket weaving in the Upper East Region.

He admonished the beneficiaries to see the initiative as a life time opportunity, a tool for social and economic positive change in their lives and ultimately a skill for sustainable self-employment and financial freedom.

He note that his outfit’s strategic plan for the year was geared at deepening participation in international trade fairs in  America, Europe and local trade fairs, this he indicated, was aimed at ensuring that there were available markets for baskets produced by them.

Mr Kangah said in order to guarantee fair trade between Craft Pro, beneficiaries producer groups and consumers, it had joined the Global Fair Trade Organization, which seeks to build equitable and sustainable trading partnership whiles creating opportunities to alleviate poverty.

In a speech read on his behalf, Mr Abuga Pele, National Coordinator of the NYEP said Ghana’s development agenda had been immensely affected by inadequate finances to undertake comprehensive economic activities needed to provide adequate public sector jobs for most youth.

He said 18 percent of the youth above age eighteen were yet to find regular employment in the country, adding that, a well managed Public and Private Sector initiatives in the promotion of small and medium scale enterprises could transform Ghana’s economy.

He noted that the NYEP-CraftPro project was borne out of the commitment by Private and Public Sector interest to create a platform to support sustainable self employment ventures for Ghanaian youth at community levels.

The NYEP he indicated has since January 2009, embarked on series of exercises aimed at improving the job profile available to the youth, by introducing the Youth in Road Maintenance and Youth in Film making modules.

Mrs Lucy Awuni, Deputy Upper East Regional Minister indicated that as part of Government’s Better Ghana Agenda, it had placed the youth at the centre of its policy initiatives.

“Government has invested in the youth through the creation of sustainable job opportunities” she added.

She noted that Government had engaged the youth in numerous employable skills acquisition programmes and projects through the NYEP, Youth Enterprise Development Project (YESDEF) and the Local Enterprises Skills Development Programme (LESDEP).

According to Mrs Awuni government had allocated GH¢54,244,178 in the 2012 budget to engage about 392,000 youth under the NYEP and an additional 300,000 youth under YESDEP, adding that, emphasis would be placed on the Trade and Vocation, Mobile Phone Repair/Assembling and the Youth in Agricultural Module.

Mrs Awuni reiterated government’s commitment to partnering, developing and growing the private sector in the long term in order to secure the future and well being of Ghanaians.

She commended Craft Pro for their initiative, and expressed optimism that the partnership would contribute to the empowering of the youth with technical skills in the handicraft industry.

Source: GNA

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