Mr. Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has said the government had invested GH˘84 million in the Local Enterprises and Skill Development (LESDEP) Programme.
Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah was speaking at a graduation and presentation of business start-up equipment to 600 beneficiaries of the programme in the Brong-Ahafo Region at the Jubilee Park in Sunyani.
The graduates were presented with equipment relating to their training and included barbering kits, gas oven and stove, dump trucks, tricycles, mobile phone repair kits.
He appealed to the graduates who had completed apprenticeship under master trainers in the region, to regard themselves as “beacons of hope” for other youth. He urged them to work hard so they could also train others to become skilled and self-employed.
Mr. Afriyie-Ankrah said, 20,000 unemployed youth had so far been trained under the programme and expressed the hope the number would increase to 40,000 by the end of the year. Mr. Eric Opoku, Deputy Brong-Ahafo Regional Minister, said until the establishment of LESDEP, only 20% of the youth were catered for under previous interventions.
He said under LESDEP, some of the beneficiaries were trained in road maintenance and 50 each of such youth were engaged in Sunyani West and Sunyani East, while 200 of them had been selected at Dormaa East and Techiman to be trained in Information Communication Technology (ICT) and another 220 in Berekum.
Mr. Kwasi Oppong-Ababio, Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, said beneficiaries from 10 out of the 22 districts/municipalities in the region were among the 600 graduating apprentices.
Mr. Adem Gariba, national coordinator of LESDEP, said 10,000 youth had so far registered to be trained under the programme, saying those yet to be trained should not lose hope as they would soon have their turn.
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