I happened to be on a bus to Kumasi recently and I met a lady who apparently participated in the Blazing Trails programme and these were her words….. “I am highly enthused about the British Council continuous support to young people. I pray they continually find the nedded funds to impact young Ghanaians who desperately need this knowledge”.
Thursday 24 March 2015, witnessed the launch of a new phase of Blazing Trails. Wonderful, Excellence, Beautiful Finishing and three additional letters to describe this feeling “WOW” were the descriptions of many attendees of this event. Beneficiaries of the training and potential beneficiaries of the training throng the British council to see and hear at first-hand what the phase 4 of the training would bring to them.
For the benefit of those who are not aware of the concept of Blazing Trails, The project is an initiative of British Council and Barclays Bank, Ghana. This project has been running for Three (3) years and has trained approximately 5,000 young graduates and entrepreneurs. The focus of this project has been to develop essential (life) skills among fresh graduates and entrepreneurs through training which
• Equips them to demonstrate employable skills needed to secure jobs or
• Entrepreneurial skills needed to start and grow a business.
The project has changed the recruitment landscape of Ghana by providing alternative job opportunities for the youth through business start-ups and has enabled fresh graduates to become attractive applicants for employers to recruit.
Speaking for Barclays the lead Financier of this project, Nana Essilfuah Boison, Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations said it has always been the aim of the Barclays bank to help empower Ghanaian youth to do more. In this regard, Barclays aside form sponsoring this initiative is also rolling out the “Ready to Work” campaign which seeks to bring out hidden potentials amongst the youth in society. As part of the event, the Barclays team enrolled most of the beneficiaries hoping to engage them in coming days on the campaign.
In her launching speech the Skills Hub Manager for British Council Ms. Gifty Amedi reiterated the need for the youth to be much aware of the times and be innovative to bring up ideas and sustain those ideas in business ventures. She emphasized that Blazing Trails phase 4 is a unique component which would give beneficiaries the following opportunities:
• Internships and Mentorship support to build capacity of young people by aligning their skills to relevant career paths and also increase competitiveness on the job market
• Entrepreneurship skills and opportunities enhanced through effective mentoring relationships
• Skills development training to about 400 young people
• Provision of business support services
• Formation of Employability Network
• Training on Intercultural Fluency Skills to 100
The Dialogue session witnessed two seasoned entrepreneurs Miss Mabel Simpson of MSimps designs, Miss Nadia Takyiwaa-Mensah of Sixth Sense Manifesto, Dr. Etse Sikanku Lecturer at the School of Communication Studies at the University of Ghana and Skills Hub Manager for British Council Ms. Gifty Amedi, deliberated on the theme “building capacity for young people; the right approach to solving unemployment in Ghana”. It was a very interactive session with each of the panel members sharing their experience to enrich the discussion. The moderator of the session -Jesse Agyepong, Marketing Director of Tigo ended the session by encouraging the youth to take charge of their future
The career fair followed immediately after this session. Seven (7) companies including Jobberman, Vivo energy Ghana, MODEC, Airtel, Beige Group, GN Group and Barclays Bank Ghana were present for this session.
The day ended leaving a wide range of attendees with the quest for more of such opportunities. Panel members and guest were fulfilled that they have had the opportunity to share their knowledge and experiences with these young and passionate graduate/entrepreneurs who in turn couldn’t thank the Council enough for the opportunity to learn so much in a day. Many couldn’t hide their joy and renewed sense of self-discovery. W
If you are a young graduate interested in the next phase of this project or an organization looking to support this project, please get in touch www.britishcouncil.org.gh.
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