The National Youth Authority (NYA) has held an orientation for 20 youth beneficiaries of the Skills Towards Employability and Productivity (STEP) empowerment project in the Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese (AAK) District of the Central Region.
The STEP focuses on providing young people with artisanal trade and vocational skills to equip them to gain employment and exploit entrepreneurial opportunities, in response to reducing the rising youth unemployment challenges.
Under the project, 20 young people in the district had been selected to be trained in various trades.
The training, which is funded by the government, will cover trade areas such as hairdressing, tailoring and dressmaking, satellite dish installation and cosmetology.
A total of 1,500 youth, including 60 beneficiaries, drawn from the Assin Fosu Municipal, Assin North and AAK are benefiting from the programme nationwide.
Admonishing the beneficiaries at a ceremony in Abura- Dunkwa, Mr Nelson Owusu Ansah, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of NYA, said the STEP project was aimed at helping young people become economically productive and resilient.
According to him, the project would help resolve the challenges of youth unemployment and its related challenges such as teenage pregnancy and drug abuse among others.
He indicated that under the first phase of the project, the targeted youth would receive technical skills training via apprenticeship over two to three years, adding that it would later be expanded to other parts of the country.
He entreated the beneficiaries to make use of the start-up kits that would be presented to them after the training, to become shining examples in their communities.
Likewise, he urged master craftsmen and women selected from the respective beneficiary districts to facilitate the training and not to abuse the trainees by using them as housemaids or errand boys and girls.
Mr Elvis Morris Donkoh, the Member of Parliament for AAK, commended the government for supporting the youth in the district and assured of regular monitoring of the beneficiaries in the district.
He said the project would ensure many unskilled youths got the opportunity to be equipped and offered employable skills for sustainable livelihood, to help them contribute towards the growth and development of the district.
He urged the beneficiaries to uphold their various careers with integrity and strive to expand, train and employ more people.
Mr Willyevans Obiri Awuah, the District Chief for AAK, advised the beneficiaries to put the items to good use to generate profits to cater for themselves and their dependents.
He also urged them to train more youth in their communities as their contribution to reducing the unemployment problem in the country.
Ms Victoria Obiri Awuah, on behalf of the beneficiaries, praised the NYA for the programme and pledged to put the items to good use.