Mr Mathias Agbalenyo, the Akatsi South Municipal Branch Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Garment Makers has called on the youth, especially the male category, to learn fashion designing to mitigate the rising figures of youth unemployment in the country.
He said one major challenge confronting the Association that required a tactical approach is the unwillingness of young men to enter into apprenticeship programmes, such as fashion and design.
Mr Agbalenyo made the disclosure during the Association’s 63rd graduation ceremony held at Akatsi in the Volta Region where a total of 60 apprentices comprising 57 females and 3 males had completed their three-year apprenticeship course.
“Some challenge confronting us as an Association is that our young men are not willing to learn tailoring. Meanwhile, our main focus is to train more men as we have been doing on the part of the ladies so that we can build the youth with employable skills in Akatsi and beyond.”
Mr Agbalenyo also appealed to the unemployed youth to venture into the fashion field for a brighter future and called on parents and guardians to be responsible by paying agreements and other levies for their wards during the time of their training.
On capacity building plans, Mr Agbalenyo hinted that the Association’s aim was also to construct a multi-purpose resource centre for the youth and all master craftsmen and women by equipping themselves with additional skills whenever necessary.
“It will also serve as a working place for those who will graduate and will have no place to work since we keep graduating hundreds of youth over the years,” he added.
Madam Ledi Sefakor, the Assistant Secretary of the graduating apprentices, in an engagement with the Ghana News Agency, expressed gratitude to God for taking them through the difficult times during the training period.
She commended their supervisors and parents for the support extended to them and assured them of lifting the image of the Association high.
The Akatsi Chapter of the Association currently has a total of over 190 members, as well as 600 apprentices who are currently undergoing training.
Several dignitaries including political figures witnessed the event which was held at the Akatsi main lorry park.
It was full of talent shows and artistic displays by the graduands as Certificates and Testimonials were handed to them.