A total of 137 young women in the Upper East Region have been trained and awarded a certificate of proficiency in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at the Bolgatanga Technical University (BTU).
The eight-month intensive practical training spearheaded by the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) and sponsored under the Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works programme equipped the beneficiaries with practical knowledge and skills on various TVET fields to contribute to reduce youth unemployment and poverty.
Out of the number, 24 were trained in bricklaying and tiling, 53 in computer graphics and photography, 21 in hardware and networking, 20 in web development, 12 in automotive engineering and seven in electricals.
Each of the beneficiaries were also given start-up kits including working tools and equipment to support them to start their careers.
Professor Peter Osei Boamah, the Pro Vice Chancellor, BTU, speaking at the graduation ceremony, regretted the huge graduate unemployment in the country and said it was worsening annually and needed to be addressed strategically.
For the nation to tackle the situation and develop sustainably, he proposed the development of a comprehensive national policy on technical and vocational education with well-trained human capital in Information, Communication and Technology to leverage science, technical and vocational education.
“Vocational and Technical Education, in no doubt, is the best approach to deal with the graduate unemployment or underemployment phenomenon in this country as TVET produces graduates with the necessary knowledge, skills, attitude and expertise for industries to expand the economy, create jobs and also unlock the numerous resources that exist in the country.
“It is a fact that professional education is a necessary tool for gaining access to the best job opportunity and wealth and opens doors to skilled employment, higher standard of living and thus helps reduce the poverty gap,” he added.
He urged the beneficiaries to apply the knowledge and skills positively and contribute to the wellbeing of their households and their communities.
Mr Christian Zico Agbebo, the Programmes Manager, CAMFED, said the sponsorship was part of the Mastercard Foundation’s 10-year strategic plan to create decent jobs for young people in Africa and it was working to create three million jobs for young people in Ghana.
He said CAMFED in collaboration with Mastercard Foundation and other partners had instituted a number of interventions including business committees and entrepreneurship mentors at their operational districts to support the beneficiaries to establish and run sustainable businesses for improved livelihoods and urged them to take advantage of the support.
Mr Agbebo challenged the young girls to demystify the misconception that TVET was the monopoly of men and impact positively on society.
Ms Kusumu Mahami, one of the beneficiaries in bricklaying and tiling expressed graduate to CAMFED and its partners for the support and noted that the skills acquired would enable her do a decent job to earn income to support her family.