The Newmont Africa-Akyem Mine, in partnership with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), has constructed and handed over a four-unit classroom block with ancillary facilities and four workshops worth GHS31.000.00 to the Abirem community.
The Akyem Vocational and Technical Institute (AVTI) is an initiative of the traditional authorities and the Newmont Akyem Development Foundation (NAKDeF) that aims to encourage the youth to take up technical-related courses to help reduce unemployment in the district.
At a short ceremony to inaugurate the edifice, Mr Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, the Board Chairman of NAKDeF, said the gesture was to foster the employability of the youth through education and skills development and to support the economic and social development in the Newmont Akyem mine catchment areas.
He said the AVTI had been in operation since February this year and the first cohort of 96 percent of students were on full scholarship from NAkDeF.
The Institute has also been registered and currently pursuing accreditation for competency-based training courses from the Commission for Technical and Vocational Educational and Training (CTVET).
He said through the partnership with the GIZ, NAKDeF introduced the Akyem Skills, Entrepreneurship, and Enterprise Development (A-SEED) which aimed at directly and indirectly generating employment for roughly 600 youth and other benefits of communities affected by Newmont's mining operations.
He noted that the program introduced was in two components that included the establishment of a vocational and technical school and a Cooperative Credit Union, which was currently in full operation as the ‘Pempamsie' Cooperative Credit Union.
He said the program had been designed to ensure that at least 35 percent of the trainees and employment generated therefrom are females.
Mr Gyimah- Boadi said plans were underway for the introduction of new programs, including fashion and catering, and promised the Foundation's commitment to supporting the AVTI and seeing to its successful handover to the Government of Ghana.
He lauded the traditional authorities for availing the land for the construction of the AVTI and entreated them to avail more lands for future projects to promote development in the district.
Mr Daniel Agya Mensah, the General Manager of Newmont Golden Ridge Limited-Akyem Mine, who spoke on behalf of Mr Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, said technical centers in the country were meant to equip the youth with technical and professional know-how to drive socio-economic and industrial development of the country, and therefore must be taken seriously.
He said technical and vocational education training was a fundamental element in the development equation because it allowed individuals and societies to unlock potential, expand their horizons and adapt to the changes.
Mr. Mensah said by equipping young women and men with the technical and professional skills, NAKDeF had to accelerate socio-economic development and pave the way for self-reliant youth and entrepreneurs who would be able to identify timeless opportunities.
He said Newmont Africa focused on community skills enhancement, hence the establishment of the AVTI to promote technical education in the catchment areas.
He urged the trainers and the tutors to focus on innovation-driven teaching to equip the students with the mindset for solving problems closest to them and transform these solutions into commercially viable ideas for wealth creation.
Nana Boni Abankro V, the Chief of Adausena, thanked NAKDeF and Nemont Africa for the gesture and encouraged the students, especially the females, to take up male-related courses to enable them to progress in their businesses.
Present at the occasion were dignitaries from the TVET Services, Chiefs, Assembly members, Staff of Newmont Africa, the Sustainable and Development Goals (SDGs), teaching and non-teaching staff, and students.