Compassion International Ghana (CIG), an NGO, in collaboration Junior Achievement Ghana, on Monday trained tertiary students in entrepreneurial skills to start their own businesses after school.
The event christened: “Compassion Entrepreneurship Project,” equipped 50 selected beneficiaries with its Church partners to sharpen their entrepreneurship skills to help solve the unemployment challenge in the country.
Mrs Florence Sena Amponsah, Manager of Programme Support, CIG, said the beneficiaries were exposed to renowned, accomplished business owners who mentored them.
She said the intervention allowed the beneficiaries to work in teams of five, and that each team would be assigned a coach to work with them throughout the training sessions, and for the next three months to help them sharpen their business ideas and develop a business plan for pitching.
Mrs Amponsah said the initiative had become necessary because the Ghanaian population was youthful, and there was the need for all key actors to work together to create a better future for the youth.
Statistics show that about 57 per cent of the population is 25 years, while the young people between 15-24 years account for about 19 per cent of the population.
According to research by the Institute of Statistics, Social and Economic Research in June 2017, only 10 per cent of graduates find jobs after the first year, and that it may take up to 10 years for a large number of graduates to secure employment due to varied challenges.
“With the mission of ‘Releasing Children from Poverty in Jesus’ Name’, CIG in collaboration with 369 Frontline Church Partners currently ministers to 91,245 registered beneficiaries”.
These beneficiaries enrolled in the programme together with their caregivers receive
various forms of support including spiritual, physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional support at all levels”, she added.
Mrs Amponsah said the organisation was currently supporting 2009 youth to access tertiary education across the nation, of which 12 are in medical schools and given career guidance and counseling, as well as self-discovery opportunities using psychological and other personal discovery tools.
Reverend Edward K.Nyamekye, Manager of Programme Support, CIG said the project was about empowering the young people with the requisite entrepreneurial knowledge to see problems as opportunities and overcome the challenges of graduate unemployment.
He said the organisation had instituted a holistic child and youth development model which provided mentoring and internship opportunities to students to have hands-on experience on the field of work.
Mr Joseph Wumbee, a member of the Advisory Council, CIG encouraged the students to develop a personal vision for themselves to direct their business models.
He called for the need to promote a positive image for vocational training and trained students with relevant skills that met the needs of industry players.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke to GNA expressed satisfaction about the programme and pledged to be creative and develop business plans and not only rely on government for employment.