As part of Gold Fields Ghana Ltd.’s measures of improving the socio-economic development of the nine (9) primary stakeholder communities in its catchment area and to ensure comprehensive and sustainable development of these communities, the company, through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, introduced the Host Community Youth Apprenticeship Training Program to equip youth in the host communities with useful and employable skills to empower them. The program focused on equipping the youth of these communities with employable skills to facilitate the integration of the local economy into the national informal sector. The program covered Forty-Seven selected youths in the stakeholder communities who were desirous of acquiring skills through the informal master-apprenticeship system.
As part of the company’s responsibility to monitor and track the progress of the training programme as well as addressing any issues which may arise, a joint meeting with the 47 apprentices, their masters, parents, queen mothers, employment representatives as well as other community leaders was held at the Damang community center on the 24th of February 2022. The meeting was chaired by the queen mother of Subri, Nana Ama Saarah I, and it was graced by dignitaries like the Municipal Chief Executive of the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipal, Dr. Isaac Dasmani, the Regional Manager Community Relations, Mr. Robert Siaw and other community Leaders. The Municipal Chief Executive of Prestea Huni Valley, Dr. Isaac Dasmani also seized the opportunity to explain to the trainees the benefits of technical and vocational education or training in the country. He further disclosed the intention of the government of Ghana to build a vocational and technical training center in Bogoso in the Prestea Huni-Valley Municipality to help train the youth in various vocations and trades. He finally advised trainees to work diligently and respectfully to become more successful in their chosen fields.
The Community Affairs and Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Mr. Abdel-Razak Yakubu welcomed guests and stated the purpose of the gathering which was to interact with the trainees and get to know some challenges faced and also find out why most of them recorded low attendance mark.
Trainees were given the platform to voice out challenges they face in their training and some hinderances to work attendance. Issues relating to busing, financial and other family related issues were the most mentioned problems raised by the trainees. Speaking at the meeting, Mr. Robert Siaw stressed on the importance of entrepreneurship and its benefits to the individual and the nation as a whole and took the opportunity to encourage the apprentices to take their training serious because it would be beneficial to them in some years to come. They were also advised to strive to establish their own businesses after training instead of depending solely on the mine for employment after their training.
All queen mothers and community leaders present took turns to advise the trainees on the need to be humble and respectful to their trade masters. They were again charged to be law abiding and hardworking so as to acquire the best from their respective masters.
The head of Bogoso Junction Garages, Master Abu commended Abosso Goldfields Limited for the good work done and pleaded for support to develop a piece of land the Association has acquired for a new garage construction. He also pleaded with management for new PPEs and working tools for the trainees.
To conclude, the meeting was an insightful and educative one because, trainees were able to voice out their pleas, parents were made to understand their roles in the training programme. Apprentices were encouraged not to look down upon themselves but work hard to achieve their goals.
Compiled by Ama Semuah Asane