Hundreds of young people graduated this week from the Soft Skills Training Programme of the Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES-Ghana). Graduation ceremonies were held in Accra, Tema, Ashaiman and Sekondi-Takoradi on Thursday, 3 November, 2016. This forms part of the YIEDIE (Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment) project; a large-scale employability project implemented in partnership with Global Communities, HFC Bank, and others.
In all, a total of 737 soft skills trainees, comprising 390 male and 347 female, were presented with certificates indicating their completion of the eight-week training in entrepreneurial skills, financial literacy, life skills and work readiness. The graduation is the first to be held in Tema and Ashaiman, the new additional project locations for Year 2.
A cross section of graduands at the Accra graduation
Graduands and invited guests at each graduation location were briefed on YES-Ghana’s YIEDIE portfolio. In terms of criteria for recruitment to YIEDIE, YES-Ghana recruits young people between 17 and 24 years who are out of school, unemployed or underemployed and interested in starting businesses in the construction sector. Successful young people who express interest in the project and meet all listed criteria are then trained over an eight-week period. Trainees, in the eight-week period, are taken through topics in financial literacy, which includes a thorough understanding of needs and wants, saving for the future, responsible spending and saving responsibly. Under entrepreneurship, trainees learn business plan writing and presentation of their business proposals as well as marketing their businesses. The life skills and work readiness component equips young people with professional skills, problem solving and conflict management competencies and familiarisation with issues of equity, diversity, child labour and safety at the workplace.
In terms of training, 3,072 young people have between April and October, 2016 opted to undergo the soft skills training, with 2,375 turning up for between June and October in the same year. An earlier graduation ceremony organised in Accra and Sekondi-Takoradi in September this year saw 313 trainees graduate. Currently, 1,327 youth are undergoing training and yet to graduate.
Representatives from Global Communities, lead implementing partners on the project, congratulated graduands and urged them to pursue their dreams of starting their own businesses in the construction sector to reduce the rate of youth unemployment in Ghana. The lead partners used the opportunity to present female graduands with their incentive packages, which they were promised in the course of the training.
Present at the events were representatives from YIEDIE project partners OIC-Ghana, African Aurora Business Network (AABN), Artisans Association of Ghana (AAG) and hfc boafo.
A group picture of graduands from Sekondi-Takoradi
Tema graduands pose for the cameras after the ceremony
A group picture of graduands from Ashaiman