Madam Justina Owusu-Banehene, the Bono Regional Minister has assured the government’s commitment to put in place pragmatic measures to improve the creative arts industry for job creation and poverty reduction.

The creative industry, she explained, held the key to addressing youth unemployment, and had huge potentials to facilitate accelerated economic growth and national development.

Speaking at a graduation ceremony of 34 apprentices who successfully underwent employable skills training in Sunyani, the Regional Minister said the government had prioritised employable skill training to empower and fetch jobs for the teeming unemployed youth.

“We believe as a government the surest way to wealth creation is for the youth to be empowered with skills and knowledge to become productive and independent”, she said.

With support from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference (GCBC) has instituted GHC1 million employable skills acquisition training project where identifiable vulnerable young people undergo six-month training in tailoring and dressmaking to better their lot.

The project is dubbed “Skills Development and Training for COVID-19 Economic Revitalization for Young and Vulnerable People” and sought to train more young people to acquire employable skills to enhance their socio-economic livelihoods.

The training is being held by the Pax Garments, a training centre for the Sunyani Catholic Diocese Secretariat at Abesim, near Sunyani.
Mad Owusu-Banahene noted the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) had had a huge toll on the national economy, saying the pandemic continued to claim lives, wreak havoc to economies and disrupt livelihoods around the globe.

“In this regard, the government has set out realistic approaches to mitigate the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 and concrete steps to take over the medium term to revitalise our economy and accelerate our national transformation towards the “Ghana Beyond Aid” agenda, she said.

That notwithstanding, the government had initiated these skills development programmes to help the youth in response to the COVID-19 socio-economic relief, the regional minister explained.

“The benefit we stand to gain from this will not only be for the individual graduating today, by extension their families, communities, and the region as a whole, thus in return revitalising the economic post-COVID-19 situation”, Mad Owusu-Banahene indicated.

The Most Reverend Matthew KwasiGyamfi, the Catholic Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese urged the youth to shun a get-rich-quick attitude that could ruin their future.

He urged the graduates to go back and set up their businesses, instead of combing around in search of jobs and asked them to be innovative as well to sustain their jobs.

The Rev. Father Lazarus Anondee, the Executive Secretary of the GCBC said the programme would provide the graduates with start-up capital to establish their shops, and advised them to pay their taxes as well