The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) says its target of reaching 23,700 youth to be key players in Ghana’s booming construction sector is achievable.
The project has already trained 9,564 youth within the last three years in five cities and there are plans to train 13, 500 more youth in the first quarter of next year.
YIEDIE is a five-year project to create economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector for economically disadvantaged youth. Global Communities in partnership with Mastercard Foundation is implementing the project.
Mrs Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi, YIEDIE Project Director, who announced this at the YIEDIE Job Readiness and Mentoring Fair held in Kumasi, said the project sought to equip the youth with the necessary skills to exploit opportunities in the country’s construction sector.
The event was organised by YIEDIE in collaboration with the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation.
About 500 youth, who attended the Fair, were taken through topics such as opportunities in construction for the youth; preparing for the construction; women in construction; building resilience and work ethics in the construction sector.
Mrs Mills-Odoi said the Fair offered the youth the platform to engage employers directly, share experiences and equip them with the skills needed to be successful in the construction business.
She said it was also to stimulate discussions on the need for comprehensive support systems to complement investments in skills development.
“The goal of YIEDIE is to create employment for the youth between 17 to 23 years in the construction sector,” she said.
She said in order to ensure that the youth got the necessary support to thrive in the construction sector, YIEDIE had partnered the construction sector of the Association of Ghana Industries to push for a local content policy for Ghana’s construction sector.
The policy, when developed and operational, would create an enabling environment for the construction industry.
Alhaji Alidu Siedu, Municipal Chief Executive for Asokore Mampong who was the guest of honour of the fair, lauded organisers of the programme, adding that over the past three decades, Ghana had made significant efforts at reducing poverty level to improve the lives of the citizenry.
He said in spite of the progress made in tackling poverty and meeting the Millennium Development Goals, citizens were still frustrated by the high level of poverty and unemployment.
“I therefore, consider the YIEDIE job readiness and mentoring fair a step in the right direction to solving the unemployment challenge confronting the country,” he added.
Mrs Sophia Awortwi of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Charity Foundation said the Foundation was very proud of the collaborating with institutions aimed at solving the problem of unemployment in Ghana.
In order to address the growing challenge of unemployment among the youth in Ghana, the YIEDIE programme is intended to encourage more young people to acquire Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to enhance their practical skills and enable them to become more employable and capable of starting their own businesses in the sector.