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General News of Saturday, 31 July 2021

Source: GNA

AGL launches training programmes for host communities

The youth apprenticeship programme will last for two years The youth apprenticeship programme will last for two years

Abosso Goldfields Limited (AGL), in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality of the Western Region, has launched two of its 2021 training programmes for the host communities.

More than GHC 1.4 million is expected to be invested in the programmes in the first two years.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Michiel van der Merwe, the General Manager of AGL, said the interventions include a two-year youth apprenticeship programme to train 48 individuals in auto mechanics and electrical engineering, fashion designing, welding, fabrication and car upholstery.

He said the programme would be supervised by the Ghana Garages Association and beneficiaries after successful completion would be awarded National Vocation Training Institute ( NVTI) certification.

Mr Merwe added that a three-month training programme in operating heavy-duty mining equipment such as drill rigs, dump trucks and excavators would be organized for 11 youth in their operational area through the Engineers and Planners, a business partner.

He said trainees would be given additional three months internship to build on their experience in the field and would also receive a Mineral Commission (MINCOM) certification upon successful completion of the programme.

The General Manager said the AGL highly regarded the development of human capital as the foundation for positive change in its host communities.

AGL, through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, had rolled out several interventions aimed at improving the skill levels of the youth with the objectives to pass on skills for self-employment and to improve upon the competitiveness of the trainees on the job market, he said.

Mr Merwe said,“The Mine cannot employ everyone in the host communities. As a mature operation, employment on the Mine will only slow down as the years go by. For this reason, the company is committed to these training programmes."

The General Manager announced that in 2012 and 2013, thirty-nine host community youths were trained to operate various heavy-duty equipment added "we are happy most of you have found jobs."

“In 2015, 21 community youth were trained in various trades, including auto-mechanic, auto-electrical, spraying and welding. These individuals are either self-employed or engaged by some of the support companies in AGL", he said.

Again, Mr Merwe stated that about 53 per cent of graduate trainees who completed their training with AGL in 2020 have also been employed.

He expressed appreciation to its mining business partner, Engineers and Planners, for helping the Foundation to train the 11 selected youths in operating heavy-duty equipment.

He said although the Mine could not employ everyone in its operational area about 64 per cent of the total workforce was from the host communities.

“We would use the opportunity to seek the continuous support of traditional authorities in combating illegal mining activities on the mine’s concessions. These activities are major threats to the existence of the Mine and a great risk to the lives of the youth” Mr Merwe said.

Mr Kojo Nyan, chairman of the employment committee, said due to absenteeism the 2012 programme had some serious challenges and stressed that, out of the about 70 applicants, only 15 graduated.

He advised the youth to take the programme seriously as they are future leaders.

"We pray that with good reports we can increase the intake for the youth apprenticeship to 100 and equipment training to 50.” Mr Nyan added.

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