Business News of Friday, 7 December 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

LESDEP to train 60,000 people next year

The Local Enterprises and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) is to assist an additional 60,000 people to acquire the necessary technical and entrepreneurial skills to help them establish their own businesses or improve upon the performances of existing enterprises.

The National Coordinator of LESDEP, Mr Adam Gariba, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in an interview, noted that his outfit plans to do that by next year.

LESDEP assisted over 40,000 people to upgrade their entrepreneurial skills this year and is committed to helping more people in that regard.

The programme is a public-private partnership under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development to create local enterprises that will drive the creation of jobs and the economic growth of the country.

Since its inception as a company, the programme has trained and setup some 38,743 beneficiaries across the country and is currently in the process of training and setting up some 1,257 beneficiaries who will be passing out soon, the National Coordinator added.

Setting up involves assisting the beneficiary with the basic tools used in his or her field of operations after the person has graduated from the programme

"The whole idea is to help people upgrade their business skills so that they can man their enterprises well. Those who don't have will also use that opportunity to start new ones and we are committed in that regard," Mr Garibaldi said in an interview.

He added that the objective of the enterprise was to help reduce the unemployment situation in the country by equipping people, especially the youth, with the needed skills to start their own businesses instead waiting to be employed.

The programme currently operates under 27 skills development modules which are based on the need assessment of the unemployed throughout the country. Mr Gariba explained that the modules were not limited to the current ones alone, noting that LESDEP would always add on more modules base on the needs and demands from the target audience.

"For instance, if a participant wants to train in a module that is not listed under the programme, we make sure that we consider and implement such modules," he stated.

The modules currently include the information technology, mobile phone repairs, local garment and fashion, beauty care, event organisation and management, window/sliding door creation, bead making, transport, local food and catering service, and fish farming/fisheries,

The rest are grass-cutter farming, agro-processing welding/fabrication, agriculture, photography, and construction.

After the training, beneficiaries are taken through general orientation in business management, record keeping, entrepreneurship, and customer care and banking and finance to prepare them for the market and also enable them sustain their businesses.

The Assistant Communication Manager, Ernest Asiedu Caesar, said apart from the skills development training, LESDEP had ventured into entrepreneurship development programmes to engage various universities and second cycle institutions in discussions on entrepreneurship and the kind of carrier path people needed to pursue while in school.