One hundred and fifty (150) youth from the Greater Accra region last Friday graduated from the Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans entrepreneurship programme dubbed “Youth Apprenticeship Program (YAP) at a special ceremony in Accra.
The beneficiaries most of whom were from the Amasaman Community and Tema went through a three-year training in various vocational and technical training by the financial institution for free.
The training programme, an initiative of Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans saw the youth choosing a trade of their choice to be trained in such as aluminium fabrication, welding. auto-electrical, auto-mechanic, tile laying, hairdressing, dress-making and catering.
Mrs Margaret Owusu Asare, Programme Coordinator for YAP speaking at the graduation ceremony said apart from the free training, the graduates were also supported with start-up capital and equipment.
She explained that the initiative was part of Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans economic empowerment program to support members in its operational area.
The Programme Coordinator said, Sinapi Aba reaches out to transform the lives of vulnerable and disadvantaged youth in the society through the Youth Apprenticeship Programme (YAP) as it provides the youth with training and opportunities to acquire skills to generate income to become independent and responsible citizens in society.
Mrs Owusu Asare, said the move by the financial institution is to contribute to the reduction of unemployment in Ghana.
“The bank recognizes that many of the youth who couldn’t continue their education loiter about in their communities. So we thought it wise to train them and equip them with the skills to start something on their own.”
Madam Owusu Asare said the trainees would have to pass the NVTI exams after the three years before they graduate.
Chief Programs Office, Joyce Owusu Dabo, advised the graduates to put premium on their services so as to stand-out.
“You should justify why a client should choose your work over another. There is competition out there, so the difference you bring or the value-addition you add to your business is important”. Mrs Dabo said.
“Let the finishing of your work be different. So that our clients will have value for their money and would want to come back,” she urged.
Some of the outstanding apprentices were awarded during the graduation ceremony.
Since its inception in 2003, the Youth Apprenticeship Program has assisted more than 1,000 youth across the country who have received training in different vocational and technical skills.
The Amasaman training and graduation session had technical support from the Youth Employment Agency and the district assembly.
For the 150 graduates of the Amasaman apprenticeship graduation, Sinapi Aba Savings and Loans spent not less than 5000 Ghana Cedis on each trainee.