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Regional News of Thursday, 31 July 2003

Source: GNA

Gov't sets aside 10 billion cedis for skills training

Alavanyo-Kpeme (V/R), July 31, GNA- The government has set aside 10 billion cedis out of 50 billion cedis of the Youth Fund to support the Skills Training and Employment Placement (STEP) project of the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment.

Mr Alfred Ntow, Controller of Apprenticeship at the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), said this at the graduation ceremony of 60 apprentices at the Evangelical Presbyterian Trades Training Centre (EPTTC) at Alavanyo-Kpeme in the Hohoe District of the Volta Region. The apprentices, including 15 women, spent six months training in sewing, carpentry and joinery, block laying and concreting and electrical installation.

He said the amount is to serve as seed money for apprentices under the STEP programme.

Mr Ntow said the amount could be accessed through the micro-finance desk of the Ministry of Finance and that the ministry has decided to increase the sponsorship of the trainees and enrolment under the STEP. Mr Ntow called on those who registered during the National Unemployment Registration Exercise to enroll at the various training centres to enable them to benefit from the programme.

Dr Michael Boateng, Director of NVTI in a speech read for him, said the acquisition of employable skills is a step towards the improvement of the living standards of the trainees and reduction of poverty. He said the contribution of Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and religious bodies in the programme, was commendable. Dr Boateng commended the Presbyterian Church of Ghana for setting up the Trades Training Centres and called on other religious bodies to emulate it.

Mr Newton Atengbley, Manager of the Centre, appealed to the government to reconsider the sponsorship of the STEP programme and increase the current 500,000 cedis allowance to one million cedis to help them procure more training materials.

He also appealed to government to supplement the feeding cost of the trainees.