71 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the tailoring and dressmaking industry at Koforidua, in the Eastern Region, have received One Million, Two Hundred and Sixty Thousand Ghana Cedis (GHc1,260,00.00) from the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to expand their businesses by employing more staff and apprentices to boost productivity and sales.
The Youth Employment Agency said the initiative was to assist SMEs that lack capacity, to help them meet their clients’ demands on time, and to invest in enrolling apprentices with the requisite skills training.
Each of the assisted companies will receive Eighteen thousand Five Hundred Ghana Cedis (GH¢18,500.00).
So far in the first phase of the program, 26 companies have received cheques of GH¢18,500.00 each, to help them expand their businesses.
Addressing the beneficiaries of the initiative, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer for Youth Employment Agency in charge of Operations, Alhaji Bashiru Ibrahim established that, enrollment of the youth into Tailoring/Seamstress apprenticeship training is key to preparing the youth to work in the garment industry as artisans to sustain the industry and increase revenue on garment export and also reduce the large population of unemployed youth in Ghana.
He urged master craftsmen and women selected from the respective beneficiaries to facilitate the training and not to abuse the trainees by using them as housemaids or errand boys and girls.

The Eastern Regional Director for Youth Employment Agency, Jerry Osei Opoku in an interview with the media said this is a new program the government has introduced that would help the the youth acquire skills and also create job opportunities for others.
He indicated that under the first phase of the project, the targeted youth would receive technical skills training via apprenticeship over two to three years, adding that it would later be expanded to other parts of the municipality and the district within the region.

On his part, the Eastern Regional Chairman for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Jeff Konadu Addo who chaired the program, said the project was aimed at helping young people become economically productive and resilient, and urged the beneficiaries to use the money for its purposes to expand their companies. He urged the beneficiaries to uphold their various careers with integrity and strive to expand, train and employ more people.

Some of the beneficiaries spoke with NET2TV NEWS

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