At its meeting on July 22 2009, the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry drew up a youth programme for the Western Region to establish Youth Development Scheme (YDS) in support of national efforts to reduce growing unemployment among the youths for gainful employement by the capital-intensive nature of the oil and gas industries operating in the Region to employ (directly) more youths from its host Region. The Scheme is going to be a vocational skill-training programme through which participants acquire necessary skills for self-employment or eligibility for employment in the oil and gas Industry.
The Youth Programme will be a structured event to give Wetern Regional Youth an opportunity to express their ideas, opinions, and needs to decision makers, oil and gas industry, community leaders or to other youth.
The purpose of the Youth Programme is to inform and set direction for the Youth in the Western Region and Community Development Partnerships before and during the implementation of the oil and gas employment policy. The process will give youth an important voice that will be seriously considered by adults making decisions about activities and programs in the oil sector.
Empowering the youths: a big step towards a better nation
Any adult in the society was at a point in time a youth. There is no doubt that the youths are the leaders of tomorrow. In our society today, the bulk of the work is being done by the youths. So the youths make up a great proportion of the work force.
The problem in the Ghanaian society today especially the Western Region which make-up headlines in the newspaper, Television & radio news. Youths unemployment is a major problem in this our part of the world.
Majority of the youths if empowered will not participate in any pain staking activities even though some do it due to ignorance but if the ignorant ones are empowered through proper awareness, it will also yield a positive result. The energy that would have been used to work towards a better Nation is being used for various societal ills (crime, drug abuse, gangsters etc) which in turn expose most of them to their consequences such premature death, destruction of properties as well as contacting HIV/AIDS where a greater percentage of people infected are the youths.
The saying that the idle mind is the devil's workshop is not far from our society today as the jobless youths (because they are not empowered) find solace in doing things that are wrong. Many of them are not in school for one reason or the other; those out of school do not have a place where they can empower themselves.
If every youth in the society have one good thing at least keeping them busy, there will be less time for them to participate in the societal ills. The results of this will be a tremendous reduction in the rate of societal ills. One of advantage of keeping the youths busy with positive things is that they will strive for excellence which will be in the area of improving their potentials. Remember busy people get things done.
Ghanaian youths are talented; they are brilliant; all we need to do is to channel their brilliancy to positive direction for benefit of the society.
The youths can be empowered in various ways:
They can be encouraged in the area of academic pursuit for those that left school unwillingly for one reason or the other e.g. scholarship awards, free education, education loans etc, to those that actually merit it without fear or favour.
For those out of school aspiring to acquire a skill can be empowered to do so e.g. through use of functioning skill acquisitions centre; like the Chamber Business Incubator,; encouraging private firms to train them, using Chamber Incubator strategy etc.
Those that have already acquired a skill should be encouraged to utilize the acquired skill for societal development