The global population is getting younger. Worldwide there are over 1.2 billion young people aged 15 – 24 years, which accounts for one out of every six people. But for the majority of these young people there are not enough jobs available to them.
Throughout our programmes we work with a number of partners to provide access to finance, training and support that enable people to thrive. And this includes young people. Equipping young people with employable skills and business knowledge enables them to work towards a more secure future. Our Youth Apprenticeship Programme in Ghana is an illustration of how we are doing this.
Working with our local partner in Ghana – we run a programme that offers life-changing opportunities to young people (aged 15-24) who are particularly disadvantages because they are poor, uneducated, orphaned or caring for sick parents and/or smaller siblings.
Opportunity International’s local partner in Ghana, Sinapi Aba Trust (SAT), runs a programme which offers life-changing opportunities to young people (aged 15-25) who live in some of the poorest communities across Ghana.
It is a work-based project designed to provide an on-the-job apprenticeship for young people with an experienced mentor who equips them with a trade and valuable skills for a brighter, self-reliant future. Workshops throughout the programme teach apprentices about good business management, health and social issues. At the end of the programme, each apprentice is given a start-up loan, to make a living from their new found skills.
Over 2,790 young people have taken part in the apprenticeship programme over the last 15 years. Young people like Sheila…
Sheila is an orphan. Her mother passed away two years ago, leaving her and three younger siblings.
Living in a rural village in northern Ghana, job opportunities were scarce and Sheila was unable to find work – despite completing high school. With the pressures of supporting herself and her siblings she travelled south to Sunyani, a city known as the ‘Food Basket’ of Ghana, in the hope of finding work. When she arrived she heard about our Youth Apprenticeship Programme and signed up to a 3-year catering apprenticeship. The apprenticeship enables her to learn a trade and develop a business that will provide security for her and her family.
Although it takes her an hour and a half to walk to work every day, Sheila enjoys the apprenticeship, particularly the business and health workshops. Sheila now feels confident to begin her own business when she finishes the programme.
“I hope more youth will have an opportunity like this.”
Sheila (right) with her mentor Patience (centre) and fellow apprentice Janet (left)