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Gold Fields supports technical training in local communities - B&FT

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Gold Fields Ghana’s Damang Mine, through the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation, has presented work tools worth over GH?15,000 to beneficiaries of the company’s Community Apprenticeship Programme (CAP).

The beneficiaries went through training to become auto mechanics, auto electricians, welders and sprayers, and the tools were meant to help them establish their own workshops and garages. Even though the company invests heavily in formal education, it also realises that a good number of community youth drop out after Junior High School, and are often unable to pursue further education. The apprenticeship programme was thus designed to provide an avenue for those who wished to learn employable skills.

Mr. Robert Siaw, a Sustainable Development Manager at Gold Fields Ghana said: “The company -- together with community leaders -- instituted a CAP to address real community needs and open up opportunities for the youth. The problem of unemployment and under development cannot be addressed by just focusing on the formal education sector. Vocational and technical training are critical for both local and national development, and we are equipping the youth with these skills so that they can find employment for themselves, become employers as well, and help address societal challenges”.

Under the CAP, the beneficiaries are attached to experienced trade masters in Tarkwa and its environs for a four-year period. Gold Fields Ghana bears the cost of training, and also provides transportation for beneficiaries to and from their various training locations. The company encourages beneficiaries to also undertake the National Vocational Training Institute certification examination, and pays the examination fees for such beneficiaries. Over GH?450.000 has so far been spent on the programme.

Chiefs, queen mothers, parents of beneficiaries, and the head of the Garages Association of Tarkwa attended the presentation ceremony.

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