Some 200 youths in the Ashanti Region have received training in vocational and technical skills to start up their businesses.
The three-year training programme which is an initiative under the Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP) by SinapiAba, is meant to address the unemployment problem.
Beneficiaries received training in dressmakers, welding, carpentry, auto-mechanics, hairdressing, and general electrical works.
Started in 2003, it targets the hard to reach communities and offers this support as part of its community and social responsibility programmes.
Chief Programs Officer at Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans Company, Joyce Owusu Dabo believes the move will give hope and a future to disadvantaged youth.
“We ensure the lives of clients and beneficiaries in the communities we operate in are transformed. In 2006, Sinapi thought of coming to the aid of youth who come from disadvantaged homes. We targeted school drop-outs and people with no skill. Sinapi Aba sought to improve their lives by equipping them with skills.
“This led to us starting the Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP) in 2006. We started with 94 apprentices. Today we have over 4000 apprentices who have benefited from this program. The youth are equipped with employable and entrepreneurial skills,” she said.
Programme Coordinator for YAP, Margaret Owusu Asare, added that beneficiaries are supported with materials and equipment to set them up.
“Two hundred students are graduating today. They were recruited three years ago, and have undergone training. Some apprentices have now become masters of their crafts. Unemployed youth are the targets of this programme. Trainees are not required to pay any token to be enrolled.
Mrs Owusu Asare continued that,“Cost of training, transportation fare is taken care of by Sinapi Aba. Apprentices are not trained only by master craftsmen only. Facilitators from NVTI, NBSSI and Ghana Health Services have sessions with apprentices. Outstanding apprentices are always rewarded.
“Currently, we have 150 apprentices enrolled on the program in Accra. In Berekum and Dormaa Ahenkro, 300 youth are undergoing training, 150 in Agona Swedru,” she added.
Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson Collage of Education, Mrs Theodosia Jackson reiterated the need for higher education.
She believes this will prevent rustiness.
Beneficiary of this apprenticeship, Yvonne Kpogo shares her experience with Luv Business.
“I was eager to learn a skill. Unfortunately I was struggling with finances. A colleague of mine informed me on the Sinapi Aba Youth Apprenticeship Program. I decided to enrol.
It has been a year and a half now, they have taken very good care of me. They provided my transportation and feeding fee during meetings. I am a hair dresser now,” she said.