The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has launched the “Youth in Garment and Textiles Module” in Kumasi.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YEA, Kofi Baah Agyepong said the garment and textile industry plays a significant role in Ghana's economy, contributing to export revenue, employment generation and culture preservation.
The module, he said, aims at bridging the skill gaps as well as creating sustainable employment opportunities for young people interested in tailoring or dressmaking and ultimately contributes towards growth and development.
The module has been designed carefully to afford beneficiaries the opportunity to receive in-depth knowledge and hands-on training in various aspects of tailoring and dressmaking including fabric selection, cutting techniques, sewing, garment construction, pattern making and alterations.
“The programme also targets to directly engage already existing apparel start–ups to support in the implementation process to achieve the desired objectives and this will involve on-the-job training in the various skill areas to be undertaken by selected Garment and Textile partner companies, Micro and Small-scale seamstresses and tailors. They would provide apprenticeship for the youth within their communities.
"Ahead of the launch, the garment and textile module has generated positive response from the stakeholders as two thousand (2000) registered beneficiaries have so far been shortlisted as trainees with five hundred (500) mastercraftmen in the category of micro and small-scale dressmakers and tailors selected as trainers of the trainees.”
He also revealed that over twenty (20) selected industrial garment companies are being engaged as trainers of the beneficiaries in large-scale garment manufacturing.
According to him, the YEA has exceeded its 2023 youth employment projection by 16% as it projected to engage 71500 youths throughout its programmes.
However, as of May 2023, the agency had engaged 84483 youths who are working and contributing to various sectors of the economy.
He further stated he has always been guided by the vision of His Excellency the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of creating sustainable jobs for the youth by ensuring that majority of them benefit from various programmes rolled out by YEA.
Under the current management, YEA has recruited 6000 community health workers, 15000 community protection assistants, 1500 Prisons Service Assistants, 800 artisans for the INZAG project.
“We still have the 45000 beneficiaries for the youth in sanitation module, recruitment of 4000 farm workers for the Afarinick Cocoa rehabilitation programme; recruitment of 6000 insurance agents, creation of over 11000 employment opportunities through the YEA’s job centre”, he expounded.
Kofi Baah Agyepong also pointed out that the YEA has collaborated with other State institutions like the Building and Road Research Institute of the CSIR, the Ghana Library Authority, the Accra Digital Centre, National Labour Commission, National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to give training to Ghanaian youth.
He also explained that the garment and apparel training and employment programme under the apparel and textiles module is aimed at creating sustainable opportunities for young people interested in dressmaking or industrial sewing.
According to him, YEA has surpassed its set targets and is poised to introduce other innovative ideas by creating additional 31600 job opportunities for the youth of Ghana in 2023.
"But we cannot do this without additional funding", he noted.
Chief Of Staff at the Office of the President, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare also, speaking at the launch of YEA "Youth Employment Agency’s Garment and Apparel Module" in Kumasi, said government is committed to youth employment interventions by initiating policies aimed at providing skills necessary for productivity growth and sustained development.
According to her, the Free SHS policy, Free TVET intervention and the numerous business support schemes available for youth start-ups and youth entrepreneurs across the country are key programmes government has adopted to make lives better.
She lauded the YEA for the garment and apparel module initiative stressing it plugs into government’s efforts at promoting the technical and vocational sector as a viable alternative means of employment.
The Chief of Staff called on all master-craftsmen of the garment and apparel module to demonstrate strong commitment by providing high quality training to all beneficiaries, urging them to provide topnotch technical skill transfer and acceptable business culture for all the beneficiaries.
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, on his part, stressed efforts government is making to build the capacities of youth and create an enabling environment for them to secure and create jobs.
He mentioned job creation has become a major factor in the development of the country, hence government would not gloss over issues relating to the sector.
Ignatius Baffour-Awuah said his ministry together with YEA will soon add other disciplines to the modules, asserting that more is in the pipeline and the Ghanaian youth must have confidence in the government.