The Presidential candidate for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr John Mahama has explained how a free apprenticeship programme under his administration will tackle streetism when he is voted to power.
Speaking at a meeting with young business leaders and entrepreneurs dubbed ‘Accra Speaks’, Mr Mahama bemoaned the worrying trend where young ones have to struggle on the streets to earn menial incomes before they could save to learn a trade.
He said whenever he drives through town and engages with some of the street hawkers, he becomes worried because most of them are young people who either lost their parents or had no support from family members to learn a vocation, and disclosed that was the motivation to put in the NDC’s manifesto to establish a policy that will assist such people to learn skills for free.
“When you meet a lot of young persons hawking on the streets, its not that they want to hawk…. You ask the kayayeis and there is a difficulty” in saving to learn a trade, said Mr Mahama who promised to use the National Apperenticeship Programme (NAP) to improve the lives of thousands of Ghanaian youth.
He said the government will pay the apprenticeship fees of these youth who will show up to learn the skills, adding “at the end of that we’ll do what we were doing with LESDEP [where tools were given to Ghanaians for free to start their trade.]”
Emphsizing the need for Ghanaians to get new opportunities for the development of their talents and skills, the NDC leader stated that the NDC have the record and experience to turn around the dire economic situation in the country through the development of skills in order to bring relief to the suffering masses of Ghana.
He said the programme will be different from other modules the previous NDC government enrolled to help alleviate poverty in the country because the government would leverage on the traditional master craftsmen to train these youth.
He added 200,000 to 500,000 young persons will benefit from the programme which will commence in the first year of his administration and stressed “I think it will be a different programme from the others.”
Hinting that training centres will be set up across the country to take care of the training programme, Mr Mahama assured that his government will rebrand and introduce free Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) from the basic to the tertiary level, which would imbibe in graduates the needed skills and also carve a definite career path for them.
He concluded that the NDC was poised to scale up skills training and thrive on that to creat more jobs in the country, urging Ghanaians to believe in the NDC dream and endorse his candidature in the upcoming elections.