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Job training for young people and returnees in rural Ghana

Knuckling down at the Sprinter Project in Ghana: the training includes bakery courses.

Job training for young people and returnees in rural Ghana

The Ghanaian-European Centre for Jobs, Migration and Development is offering intensive training courses in rural regions. The “Sprinter Project” supports young people and returnees with their new start in the Ghanaian job market.

The lack of long-term jobs in Ghana causes internal and irregular migration. Many young people leave rural areas for the cities, where they expect to find better job opportunities. Some of them then decide to head off for Europe if they don’t end up finding a job there.

The Ghanaian-European Centre for Jobs, Migration and Development (GEC) has organised intensive training courses for technical and vocational training (TVET) in the Central Region, Greater Accra Region and Volta Region. These training courses are also known as the “Sprinter Project”. Its aim is to offer young Ghanaians the prospect of quick employment.

Training courses in the baking trade and in the cosmetics industry

Participants were given training in three areas: baking, producing ice cream and yoghurt, and cosmetics. The participants in the bakery course learned how to make dough for 14 different types of bread and pastries. Another group dealt with methods for preparing ice cream, yoghurt and fruit juices. The final group learned how to lengthen nails, give pedicures and manicures, and professionally apply cosmetics for different occasions.

Start-up kit after completion of the training

Everyone who successfully completed the training course received a start-up kit. It contained essential tools and equipment for starting their own business in the bakery, ice cream production and cosmetics sectors. The participants can also turn to the trainers after the course, to get extra business coaching for example.

Isabella wants to use her cakes and pastries to earn a regular income for her and her family.

Radio ads to publicise the training courses

One of the participants in the Sprinter Project is Isabella. She returned in 2021 from Iraq, where she had been working as a maid. Isabella is a single mother with two daughters. “It was difficult getting enough money to live on after my return. The little money that I’d brought with me from Iraq was soon spent. I only had casual jobs back here in Ghana”, says the 35-year-old. She heard about the GEC and the centre’s work through a radio ad. “The GEC course came at just the right time.”

Isabella took part in the five-day intensive training course in Accra at the beginning of 2023. She now wants to use what she learned to become a confectioner and make her own cakes and pastries for the Ghanaian market. She hopes her own business will provide a regular income for her and her children. “I truly believe that this training course will change my life for the better and that I can work in the vocation of my dreams.”

Ebenezer in conversation with other training participants. He has discovered his joy in craftsmanship.

A friend told me about the GEC programme

Ebenezer is especially enthusiastic about the practical part of the training. The 27-year-old completed secondary school, but still hasn’t found a steady job. “For me, there’s nothing better than making something with my own hands and earning money from it at the same time.” Ebenezer’s goal is to open a shop selling bakery products and ice cream.

A friend told him about the work done by the team at the GEC. “I can highly recommend the Sprinter training course: the trainers – but also the team of advisors at the centre – are all very professional”, Ebenezer says and goes on: “I know from my own experience that it isn’t easy being unemployed and having to fight to survive. That’s why I can only encourage people in a similar situation to sign up for the Sprinter Project.”

Three month’s mentoring after the training course

Ernestina Adu is one of the team of advisors at the centre and coordinates the Sprinter Project. She explains that in addition to the start-up kit the participants are mentored by experts for 3 months after the training course. Having a dedicated contact person is thought to be extremely important. “It’s crucial for the participants to become financially independent”, Ernestina Adu continues. The training course opens up new opportunities for them; many become reinvigorated. That’s the main reason why the intensive training course is especially intended for vulnerable groups like single mothers and young people.

The GEC has already trained around 100 Ghanaians through the Sprinter Project. The course is very popular, so the team is planning a further round of training courses in 2023.

As of: 03/2023

I can highly recommend the Sprinter training course. Everyone involved is very professional. Just sign up!

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