Dr Kwabena Duffuor, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning paid a working visit to the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) Head Office and Training Centres on Monday, 25th July 2011. He interacted with management, staff and trainees of the Programme and took the opportunity to observe some of the facilities and machinery at the training centre.
Established this year, LESDEP has so far registered 6,000 beneficiaries who are undergoing training and skills development in the various fields of trade throughout the country.
The Minister was conducted round the facility by the Communications Manager of LESDEP, Mr. Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey. The tour took them to the vehicle assembling plant, the tailoring and dressmaking section, hair dressing, catering and beauty care sections. They also toured the basic computer training centre as well as the various machinery shops for agriculture, printing, agro-processing and construction equipment.
The tour was to afford the Minister first-hand knowledge of the operations of the LESDEP programme which is providing thousands of Ghanaian unemployed youth with employable skills and entrepreneurial training. The Government of Ghana has allocated twelve million Ghana cedis in its supplementary budget to give succour to the Programme.
The Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme is a specialised employment creation programme that seeks to provide the requisite skills, tools and training for the youth to enable them become self-employed thus helping in poverty alleviation and strengthening the country’s labour force.
Registered under the auspices of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, LESDEP is a private initiative with focus on resolving issues of unemployment at the national level.
The Communications Manager of LESDEP, Mr. Gilbert Abeiku Aggrey explained that beneficiaries are selected from the various district assemblies and sent to the centers for training without any charge, after which they are given specialized trade machines and a start-up capital which they pay within a six months to two year period depending on the module of training and trade selected.
Addressing the management and staff after the tour, Dr Kwabena Duffuor expressed his satisfaction about the quantity and quality of equipment and machines ready to be deployed to the regions for the beneficiaries and also advised trainees to attach seriousness, dedication and commitment to the programme especially when they have the opportunity to be self-employed and self-sufficient.
The Minister commended management of LESDEP for the good work and selfless efforts and assured them of government’s support. He also tasked them continue with the hardwork and eschew favouritism, nepotism and prejudice in the identification of beneficiaries since the programme is for all Ghanaians.