Newmont Ghana has launched an alternative livelihood training program for some youths from the catchment communities of the mining company in the Ahafo Region.
24 selected youths, including 4 females, would be trained in welding and fabrication for 12 weeks for free.
The pilot program is aimed at providing them with a meaningful, decent and viable alternative to illegal mining (Galamsey).
According to Adiki Ayitivie, the Vice President of Newmont Ghana Gold Mines for Sustainability and External Relations, the implementation of the program comes on the back of a series of discussions with stakeholders after an Artisanal small-scale Mining (ASM) baseline and impact assessment study showed most of the illegal miners want to opt-out if they had a different employment avenue to earn a living.
She was speaking at the launch of the training program at Kenyasi in the Asutifi North District of the Ahafo Region, witnessed by the traditional leaders and government officials.
The selected trainees are from communities including, Adrobaa, Afrisipa, Terchire, Susuanso, Wamahinso, Gyedu, Ntortroso, and Kenyasi 1 and 2.
She revealed that 300,000 dollars would be spent to train the pioneers for 3 months by an internationally certified training institution – CPI in Tema.
The trainees, she said, would also be supported with a monthly stipend for the training, expected to commence on April 25, 2022.
“This training initiative is targeted at only community members engaged in the ASM value chain within the Ahafo concessions and does not guarantee automatic employment with Newmont”, Adiki Ayitivie, the Vice President of Newmont Ghana, said.
“They would be allowed to do industrial training for three months, and we hope that they would get opportunities to work with companies who do welding and fabrication. We would also talk to our contractors to see those who can take them on. If this doesn’t work, we would talk to the local government officials to think about setting up an industrial park, equipping them so that they can create their work while looking for other people to support them”.
Ms. Ayitivie further said once the pilot program is successful, they would make it a regional program that will extend to the Akyem mining host communities.
In addition, she said they are already running a program called Local Economic Diversification Support Program, where they are integrating the youths and the illegal miners into the Agri-business project.
Continuous collaboration with the local government authorities, according to her, would ensure a sustainable alternative livelihood to ensure that they do not return to illegal mining activities.
The Ahafo Regional Minister, George Boakye, while thanking Newmont for the initiative to combat the galamsey menace, advised the candidates to be serious with their training and make the most out of the lifetime opportunity offered to equip them with employable skills.
He said with such skill sets, they can meaningfully contribute their quota to the development of the district and the country.
Bright Agyemang, a beneficiary, expressed his appreciation to the mining company for their support to move them away from the high-risk galamsey activities.
“If we focus on the training and complete it successfully and Newmont carries out their plans for us, our lives would certainly improve with a positive impact on the society, and we are determined to achieve that”.
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