The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) has exceeded its target of creating opportunities for the economic disadvantaged youth in Ghana’s construction sector.
The five-year project which ends in March this year, set out to train 23,700 youths but ended up training 25,479 with technical and entrepreneurial skills in the construction sector.
Out of the number, 16,020 of the beneficiaries got trained in technical construction skills while the rest numbering 9,459 were also trained in entrepreneurship.
Mrs Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi, Project Director of YIEDIE who disclosed this at the YIEDIE Close-out Conference held in Accra on Tuesday said the project was a five-year project to create economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector for 23,700 economically disadvantaged youth between the ages of 17 and 24 in Accra, Ashaiman, Kumasi, and Takoradi.
The close out event is to highlight the achievements of the project in terms of the number of beneficiaries, lessons learnt and the general impact made so far.
The project is being implemented by global communities in partnership with MasterCard Foundation.
She said the project applied an integrated, youth led-marketing systems approach to improve the capacity of youth and service providers across the value chain.
“The beneficiaries were trained in technical construction skills and assisted them to grow and start small businesses while collaborating with construction stakeholders to improve the enabling environment,” she said.
“Our target initially was to train 23,700 youths by 2020 but today, I am very excited that we have exceeded our target and have trained 25,479 youths across the country,” she said.
She said as part of the programme, players in the construction industry mentored and educated the participants about the job prospects and opportunities in the construction industry.
Mrs Mills-Odoi said the project had shaped a crop of skilled entry-level young artisans as well as causes a shift in mindset regarding that TVET being a sector for non-performing learners.
“Our aim was to use the responsive model, which would demonstrate it was workable and would challenge the longstanding perceptions about the sector,” she said.
The Executive Director of the Council for Technical and Vocational and Training (COTVET), Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, stated that the youth constitute the true wealth and future of the country and as such needed to be prepared adequately for that task.
“While many efforts have been made in the past to harness the potentials of Ghana’s growing youth population, youth unemployment have become major obstacles to the attainment of this goals,” he said.
He said it was for that reason why the implementers of YIEDIE needed to be commended for their effort to equip disadvantaged youth across the country with employable skills.
The Country Director of Global Communities Ghana, Mr Alberto Wilde, stated that he was happy that the objectives of the project had been achieved.
“YIEDIE is leaving behind more than 25,000 youths with training, more than 16,000 youths with technical skills via apprenticeship, and more than 9,000 in entrepreneurship, of which 52 per cent have improved their economic situation by either taking up entrepreneurship or wage employment,” he said.
According to him, the female enrolment in YIEDIE increased significantly from 11 per cent at the end of the first year of the project to 30 per cent.
“While initially most women enrolled in interior decor, a traditionally female trade, the numbers enrolled in other trade areas grew based on encouragement from YIEDIE.”
“The majority of these women enrolled in heavy machine operations, painting, tilling, aluminium fabrication, electrical technician and metal fabrication,” he said.