The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) has trained some 25,479 deprived youths with technical and entrepreneurial skills in the last five years.
The initiative is expected to instil in the beneficiaries the right attitude towards work and also prepare them to contribute to the development of the nation.
Out of the number, 16,020 of the beneficiaries got trained in technical construction skills while the rest were also trained in entrepreneurship.
“Implemented at the cost of $18million, the project which runs from 2015 and 2020, is an initiative of the Global Communities and its consortium in partnership Mastercard Foundation,” the Project Director of YIEDIE, Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi, told the media after the opening of the YIEDIE Close-out conference in Accra.
The event was to highlight the achievements of the project in terms of the number of beneficiaries, lessons learnt and the general impact made so far.
She explained that the project was a five-year project to create economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector for 23,700 economically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 17 and 24 in Accra, Ashaiman, Kumasi, and Takoradi.
According to her, the project applied an integrated, youth led-marketing systems approach to improving the capacity of youth and service providers across the value chain.
“The beneficiaries were trained in technical construction skills and assisted them to grow and start small businesses while collaborating with construction stakeholders to improve the enabling environment. Our target initially was to train 23,700 youth by 2020 but today, I am very excited that we have exceeded our target and have trained 25,479 youth across the country,” she said.
She said as part of the programme, players in the construction industry mentored and educated the participants about the job prospects and opportunities in the industry.
Women in construction
The Country Director of Global Communities Ghana, Alberto Wilde said the YIEDIE project was leaving behind 25,479 youth with employable skills.
According to him, the female enrolment in YIEDIE increased significantly from 11 per cent at the end of the first year of the project to 30 per cent.
“While initially, most women enrolled in interior decor, a traditionally female trade, the numbers enrolled in other trade areas grew based on encouragement from YIEDIE.
“The majority of these women enrolled in heavy machine operations, painting, tilling, aluminium fabrication, electrical technician and metal fabrication,” he said.
Executive Director of the Council for Technical and Vocational and Training (COTVET), Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, stated that the youth constitute the true wealth and future of the country and as such needed to be prepared adequately for that task.
“While many efforts have been made in the past to harness the potentials of Ghana’s growing youth population, youth unemployment have become major obstacles to the attainment of this goals,” he said.