LESDEP Turns 1000 Unemployed Youth Into Professionals

The Government`s steadfastness in investing in people for sustainable development is bearing good fruit following the empowerment of the youth into Self-Managed Businesses through a major intervention programme launched in April 2011. The Local Enterprises and Skills Development Program (LESDEP) is aimed at empowering the youth through skills training and business setups to enable them take up their destiny into their own hands. LESDEP has successfully graduated 1,000 beneficiaries at a colourful ceremony in Accra. The beneficiaries have been well equipped with marketable skills in various business areas to make a sustainable living for themselves and society in general. Speaking at the passing out ceremony, the Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo said, LESDEP which is an initiative of his ministry with active collaboration with the private sector , is a demonstration of government`s commitment to make the youth active partners in development. The minister was very optimistic that with the support of LESDEP, enterprises set up by the graduates will grow to employ more people whiles the disposable incomes will enhance the living standards of people irrespective of where they found themselves, saying that was what the NDC Manifesto calls �Investing In People�. He revealed that new modules are being explored to cater for professional has and middle level personnel to resolve the problem of graduate unemployment. Past national service personnel would be engaged for a year`s internship in their various fields of specialty for possible absorption by the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies, (MMDAs). Mr. Ofosu-Ampofo reiterated that, LESDEP will decentralize its training and equipment assistance at the various MMDAs. He encouraged the graduates to be up and doing and not to see their passing out as the end of their learning. �Apply all the trade skills and entrepreneurial insights you have acquired over the period .Embrace the culture of continuous improvement and never allow your business to die a small business�, he said. The Minister therefore advised the beneficiaries to form partnerships and synergies that can result in multinational companies in future. The various fields of the LESDEP programme includes, Laptop and mobile phone assembly/repair, catering, fashion, photography, intra-city goods transport services, farm gate transport services, constructional services, aquaculture, honey production, beads making, goods distribution vans, sales van, mobile car washing services among others which 10,00 youths are expected to benefit from. These businesses are expected to produce strategic manpower for Districts and the nation in some years to come.