General News of Thursday, 27 June 2019
Twenty-four craftsmen under the Growing Economic Opportunities for Sustainable Development (GEOP) project have been awarded the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) certificates at a passing out ceremony held in Accra.
The group successfully completed their six months skills enhancement and business management training and subsequently passed the NVTI’s Proficiency one examination.
The project organized by Christian Aid and funded by the European Union with support from GRATIS Foundation and the Ghana Institute of Welding is aimed at promoting local economic development through a strong civil society and local authority partnership.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the sidelines of the passing out ceremony, Mr Sadick Osman, the Project Officer for GEOP, said the acquired skills would enable the trainees formalize their businesses and foster their growth.
He said over the years the project had focused on providing youth in the informal sector with the requisite skills to enhance their economic opportunities.
“The project has three broad result areas and we are working to enhance economic opportunities for youth within the informal sector. We have so far trained a total of 138 youth in diverse areas such as driving, catering, mobile phone repairs, ICT networking, among others.
“Today’s activity which is also part of the result one of the projects, we are awarding the first of three batches with the NVTI certificates that would enable them formalize and expand their operations. In all a total of 90 craftsmen will be trained and awarded the certificates”, he said.
He noted that even though the trainees were already working in the industry, they had always being denied bigger contracts due to their inability to produce recognised certificates.
“These are people already working in the industry but what we have done is to improve on their technical know-how because even though they are doing well at the community levels, they don’t really get opportunities to big contracts because they are not formalized”, he added.
Mr Osman further stated that the Result two of the project would focus on strengthening women’s groups by creating market linkages to foster business growth, adding that Results three would focus how Districts Municipals and Metropolitan Assemblies can improve on revenue generation through taxation and advocacy’
“The Result two of the project will focus specifically on women because the EU and the Christian Aid have a very key interest in promoting gender issues so we are working to strengthen women’s group, trying to diversify their income and more importantly create market linkages for the businesses that they are doing”.
While commending the trainees for their efforts, Mr Osman urged them to put to use their acquired skills and ensure that it trickled down to their apprentices in order to build their capacities.
Mr Safiu Abdul Razak, a craftsman at the Corporate Metal Works and a beneficiary of the project in an interview with GNA said the training had exposed them to various aspects of the work, which hitherto was unfamiliar to them.
He noted that the acquired certificates would propel some of them to seek for higher education and also to register their businesses.
“Majority of us have no certificates and have not registered our companies. But these certificates we’ve been awarded with, even though it is a grade one certificate it is an opportunity for some us to apply for higher national certificates and also register our companies”, he stated.
The training for the second batch is scheduled for Thursday, June 27.