A major challenge often faced by ambitious youth who venture into skills training is how to acquire start-up equipment to begin their various trades after successfully completing years of training.
After graduating from the training, some of them who are able to receive support from their parents and other family relations are able to acquire their start-up tools for their respective businesses.
Some who do not get the needed support are often left to their fate, while others due to lack of support to acquire the basic equipment often fail to utilise the skills gained and venture into other enterprises.
As a major step to address this challenge confronting the youth, the Builsa North Municipal Assembly in the Upper East Region has presented 18 sewing machines, 12 hair dryers and nine sets of luxury hair washing facilities worth GH¢93,776 to 39 hairdressers and seamstresses.
The beneficiaries include six persons with disability (PWD).
The support was given under the auspices of the support for self-employable skills which form part of the government and the municipal assembly’s Local Economic Development (LED) agenda.
It was sourced from the assembly’s share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), as the assembly recognises LED as a strategy to fully harness the economic potential of the area for job creation, improvement of livelihoods and poverty reduction.
At a ceremony to present the equipment to the beneficiaries, the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for the area, Vida Anaab, said the support was in line with the government’s commitment to support the youth to obtain employable skills.
She noted that the support to the youth would “help reduce the high youth unemployment in the area.”
She explained that the assembly recognised the capacity and ability of local economic development in transforming the local potential in the area, hence the support to the beneficiary artisans to either start their own businesses or boost their already established businesses.
She disclosed that the assembly had resolved to offer similar support to other youth in various fields such as masonry, welding, electricals, carpentry, tiling, motor repairs, among others, in the next two years.
She said “in order to transform the economy from consumption to production, we must prioritise and encourage the youth to refocus on skills acquisition, which has self-employable capacity, instead of pursuing academic programmes which have limited job opportunities.”
Ms Anaab urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the items received to achieve the purposes for which they had been presented and desist from allowing the equipment to lie idle in their homes.
She said that with the provision of the equipment, they did not have any excuse to remain idle but rather set up their own small-scale businesses to earn income to better their standard of living and to train others.
Further, she entreated those who were yet to receive their share of the items to remain patient and exercise restraint as it would get to their turn.
She added that as part of the Ghana Safety Net Project in 2022, 313 people were supported with GH¢446,256.74 to improve their various income generation activities, indicating that “98 youth entrepreneurs had been trained under various entrepreneurial modules under phases one and two.”
Further, she pointed out that the third phase of the training was currently ongoing with 23 youth benefiting from it, and added that the assembly intended to complete the abandoned Sandema market for use by the traders.
The Director-General of the Ghana Maritime Authority, Thomas Alonsi, while addressing the event, said the presentation of the equipment to the beneficiary artisans was a proof of the government’s resolve to support the youth to establish their own firms to improve their lives.
He added that since the assumption of office of President Akufo-Addo a number of initiatives and interventions had been rolled out to equip the youth to engage in income generating activities.
He said “I wish to entreat you to effectively and efficiently utilise this equipment to contribute to the progress of the informal sector in the municipality and to transform your lives as well”.
One of the beneficiaries, Gladys Gariba, a hairdresser, said hitherto she struggled to wash the hair of her clients due to the equipment she used but with the new equipment received both herself and her clients would be comfortable with the service rendered to them.
On behalf of her colleagues, she expressed gratitude to the municipal assembly for coming to their aid, with a promise that they would put them to good use to achieve the intended purposes.