The Institute for Development Studies (IDS) in collaboration with the Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) is organising a five-day training for trainers course on campus.
The programme which is aimed at providing participants with skills to train the youth and service providers across the value chain. It will equip them to also train young women and men in the technical construction skills and how to start and grow small businesses.
Opening the programme, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Prof. George K. T. Oduro, said the programme was particularly important in the context of the many unemployed, underemployed, out of school and people living on the minimal expected standard of Two Dollars per day in Ghana. He said a key contribution to impacting the development of Ghana was through such initiatives as YIEDIE that is estimating to reach about 24, 000 youth with training in technical, life and entrepreneurial skills leading to employment.
Prof. Oduro said there were numerous examples of nations that had achieved outstanding improvements in living standards and quality of life for their citizens through securing an appropriate educational atmosphere in order to provide high quality education in different technical and professional fields. He mentioned Bangladesh, South Korea, Thailand and Malaysia as examples of such nations and added that “Indeed one of the attributes that led to Japan’s industrial success is vocational training”.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor said Technical and Vocational education as part of the total educational process was a right described in Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. He noted that the project was one of the non-formal system approach which provides opportunities for out of school youth to acquire vocational technical skills, which may be used either to obtain employment in the formal sector or for promotion of self-employment and development in the informal sector.
The Pro-Vice-Chancellor commended YIEDIE for choosing IDS as its collaborator for the project. He said IDS as a development research and training institute was endowed with Research Fellows who have a depth of experience in development management research and training.
“The multidisciplinary expertise of IDS for collaborative and individual work is a distinctive feature, having been involved in a myriad of studies such as evaluation, baseline, monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments, needs assessments, training, and facilitation” he noted.
The Director of YIEDIE, Mrs. Kafui Mills-Odoi, said her outfit envisaged producing world changers who would contribute to the development of the nation. She said YIEDIE’s collaboration with UCC was the starting point of a paradigm of interaction to train the next generation of development focused leaders capable of creating employment.
Mrs. Odoi said the collaboration was a synergy between academia and industry to enhance the knowledge base of the youth in the application of entrepreneurial skills so that they do not focus only on the formal sector which was already choked. She said through this project several youth would be empowered to engage in meaningful ventures to reduce the alarming rate of unemployment in Ghana.
The Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Eric Amuquandoh, said the programme would help participants to put theory into practice. He was optimistic that the programme would equip the participants to make impact on the lives of the youth to be able to stand on their own as great entrepreneurs in Ghana adding that “entrepreneurship is a solid block for nation building”.
The Director of IDS, Dr. Emmanuel Y. Tinkorang, said employment was gradually shifting from the formal to the informal sector stressing that “statistics indicates that 80% of Ghanaian workers are in the informal sector”. He noted that the informal sector was driven by people with entrepreneurial skills and therefore, it was important to train them to develop their businesses.