Thirty people in the Offinso Municipality have benefited from the first phase of the Sinapi Aba Trust’s (SAT) youth apprenticeship programme which has been extended to the Ashanti Region.
Under the programme, which also has a health component that emphasises the prevention of HIV/AIDS, SAT will support the beneficiaries with training tools and other services to enable them to complete their apprenticeship.
On completion, the trust would assist them with start-up capital, where necessary, to enable them to start their businesses.
The programme, which was piloted in Kumasi in 2004, was replicated in Accra a year later.
With the successful results in those initial stages, the programme is now being implemented in seven districts and municipalities in the country and a ceremony has been held at Offinso where the SAT presented training tools valued at GH¢2,600.95 to the beneficiaries in the municipality.
The trainees were hairdressers, dressmakers, carpenters, auto mechanics, auto electricians, bakers and shoe makers.
In a speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive of the trust, Mr Anthony Gyasi-Fosu, the Chaplain of SAT, Elder Kwame Opoku, emphasised the importance his establishment attached to youth employment.
He said SAT was determined to commit more resources to that sector so that the youth could get themselves into gainful employment.
Mr Gyasi-Fosu noted that the problem of unemployment was a real challenge to the development of young people in the country and it was clear that the government alone could not address the challenges.
He noted that the inability of most young people to earn a living and be economically independent tended to increase their vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and social vices like excessive drinking, smoking and prostitution, among others.
Mr Gyasi-Fosu said it was against that backdrop that his organisation, with support from its development partner, Opportunities International, introduced the youth employment programme to complement the efforts of the government in addressing the situation.
He appealed to the Offinso Municipal Assembly to support the organisations in extending the programme to more people.
The Programmes Co-ordinator of SAT, Mr Thomas Appiah-Mensah, advised the trainees and the other stakeholders to be committed to their roles and responsibilities in the programme.
He told the trade masters that the attendance registers of the trainees and their conduct assessment forms given to the trade masters to work on were very relevant as they would assist the management of the programme to take some useful decisions concerning the trainees.
The Amoawihene, Nana Duodu Frimpong, who represented the Offinsohene, Nana Wiafe Akenten, commended SAT for its initiative and expressed the hope that the trainees would attach great importance to the programme.