AngloGold Ashanti, Obuasi Mine, as part of efforts to build local capacity, has partnered Mac Partners Training Institute, an Obuasi based engineering firm, to train youth in host communities in various engineering disciplines.
Dubbed, “Community Youth Apprenticeship Programme,” the initiative seeks to equip beneficiaries with practical skills lacking in society, while increasing their chances of getting decent jobs, especially in the mining industry.
Since 2019, a total of 128 youth had already benefited from the programme after revamping the former AGA Engineering Training Centre, which serves as training centre for beneficiaries.
Consequently, a matriculation ceremony has been held for the commencement of training for 101 persons in welding and fabrication, mechanical and electrical technician.
Mr Eric Asubonteng, Managing Director of AngloGold Ashanti, said the company believed in building partnerships towards developing their host communities as underpinned by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 17.
“We at AGA believe that there is a symbiotic relationship between human development and economic development.
“It is evident that technical trainings have a positive impact on the lives of the trainees as it prepares them for future employment, sharpen their skill set for industry at large, and mining industry in particular, ” he said.
He said the training formed part of the company’s localisation plan since the redevelopment project in 2019 which sought to equip beneficiaries with skills to position them to have competitive employable skills.
The Managing Director said AngloGold Ashanti Ghana belives leaving communities with a sustainable future through youth development was in sync with their vision and highlighted their commitment to promote sustainable communities.
Mr Sulemanu Koney, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Chamber of Mines applauded the partnership between AngloGold Ashanti and Mac-Partners, saying it was the way to go to build local capacity for the industry.
He said it was unacceptable for mining companies to rely on expatriates for basic skills in the industry when there was a pool of young people who could be trained to fill such vacancies.
The vision to equip the youth in Obuasi and its surrounding communities with employable skills would not only benefit AngloGold Ashanti, but the entire mining industry in the long term, he said.
Mr. Seth Quaye, Managing Director of Mac Partners, said after more than 100 years of mining in Ghana, the country did not have industry specific training institutions except the AGA Engineering Training Centre, which was closed down when the mine shut down some years back.
He said Ghana being a mining country could not afford to slack in the quality manpower that the industry requires, adding that, Ghana’s current lower to middle level manpower lagged behind other mining countries like South Africa and Australia.
“Meanwhile youth unemployment in our mining communities is quite disturbing and we have to reverse that,” he said.
He commended AngloGold Ashanti for sponsoring the trainees and assured the company of the best of training to transform them into highly skilled individuals ready to take advantage of opportunities to improve their lives.