Five hundred and five artisans from the Ashanti Region have taken part in the National Vocational Training Institute’s (NVTI) skilled proficiency examination with support from the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) through its foundation.
The exams formed part of activities under the Skilled Artisans Project (SAP) aimed at equipping artisans with competency based certification.
The beneficiaries were drawn from Offinso, Bekwai, Mampong and Kumasi and were tested in two modules: domestic and technical.
The domestic modules included cookery, bakery, dressmaking, tailoring, hairdressing, interior decoration and make-up artistry, while the technical modules comprised plumbing, carpentry, auto-mechanics, general electrical and aluminium fabrication.
Addressing the media after inspecting the candidates at the various centres in the region, the Executive Director of the GNPC Foundation, Dr Dominic Eduah, said the objective of the project was to empower the youth with employable skills and also set them up to become masters and employers.
He said over the years, the focus had been on those in the formal sector to the detriment of those in the informal sector.
He said due to that, the SAP was introduced two years ago to also add those in the informal sector to help them acquire certification for their areas of trade.
“The process is very simple; we want to move them from an informal sector to a semi-formal sector. That is, they also get the opportunity to be certified and acquire soft skills in book keeping and investment,” he said.
He explained that the SAP was a livelihood empowerment programme designed to support the youth across the country with the much needed technical and vocational skills that could match up with the best standards anywhere.
Dr Eduah said the NVTI certification phase of the project was necessitated by the need to boost their employability and credibility as trained artisans.
Dr Eduah said Ashanti Region was the fifth region to benefit from the project after the initial ones for Western and Western North, Central, Eastern and Greater Accra.
He stated that this year, the foundation was sponsoring a total of 2,050 artisans including 505 from the Ashanti Region.
He said the foundation targeted those who had already learnt the skills but didn’t have what it took to set themselves up.
“We are offering young people, who are inspired to learn these important trade skills, the requisite tools and equipment needed to start their own entrepreneurial businesses, in a bid to make them economically independent to support themselves and their families,” he said.