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Regional News Sat, 14 Feb 2004

Youth Centre for Tema

Tema, Feb. 14, GNA -- Mr Yaw Barimah, Minister for Manpower, Development and Employment on Friday cut the sod for work to commence on the construction of a 1.2 billion cedi Youth Training Centre in Tema.

Dubbed the "Golden Age Youth Centre", it would serve as a resource centre to train the youth in the Municipality in various vocations in technical, electrical, batiks, tie/dye, cane weaving and others. The first phase of the project is estimated at 380 million cedis and is expected to complete in May 2004.

It was initiated and being funded by Mr Ishmael Ashtiey, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade Industry and President's Special Initiatives and MP for Tema East and located in his constituency at Tema Community Four.

In an address, Mr. Barimah, noted that the projected expansion in the country's economy and its direct effect on the job openings in the public and private sector institutions makes acquisition of entrepreneurial skills very necessary.

He reiterated the NPP Government's commitment to ensuring that every young Ghanaian acquires the skills for a lifetime of productive work.

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"Youth unemployment is cause of worry to the Government and Government is therefore leaving no stone unturned to offer them skill Training, which will make them more productive and improve their living conditions".

The centre, he said is not only going to offer skill training but also aimed at curbing the phenomenal growth in streetism which is prevalent in all the major cities of the country.

Mr. Barimah gave the assurance that the Centre would be added to the list of institutions, which are engaged in running vocational and technical skills training on behalf of the Ministry of Manpower Development.

The cost of tuition would therefore, be provided by the Ministry and would augment whatever operational capital outlay the Tema Municipal Assembly might be expected to absorb to enable it to have adequate funds to run it.

He also stated that trainees from the Centre would be admitted to study towards the Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP), Programme so that they would have access to set-up capital to be operated by some selected micro-finance institutions nationwide. Mr Ashitey said the project was being funded with his share of the MP's common fund, after completion would be handed over to the TMA to manage it.

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He urged the contractor to work fast so that training could start immediately and advised the residents to support the construction work by offering communal labour.

Earlier in his welcome address, the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Solomon Ashong Narh expressed concern about the number of youths who roam the streets of Tema without jobs and said majority of them are without employable skills.

He commended the MP for the initiative and expressed the hope that other MPs would emulate him.

Source: GNA