Chirano Gold Mines, under its alternative livelihood programme, has supported 32 start-ups in the communities in which it operates with an amount of GH¢115,000.
This is to help them to expand their businesses and employ others within their communities.
To ensure the sustainability of the programme, the beneficiaries are expected to run their business to repay what they were given so that it will be reinvested into the programme for others to also benefit.
Speaking in an interview with the GRAPHIC BUSINESS, the General Manager of Chirano Gold Mines Limited, Mr Adriano Sobreira, said the company had a duty to support attempts by the government to resolve the unemployment challenge in the country.
“Ghana, just, as other countries, is battling with youth unemployment; there aren’t enough job opportunities for the growing population. That is why at Chirano Gold Mines, we have prioritised the recruitment of people from our operational area. Currently, nearly 40 per cent of our workforce come from our local communities,” he stated.
“We, however, realise that there is more to be done as we cannot employ everyone who needs a job, especially from our communities. For the youth we are not able to employ, the mine has over the years adopted programmes and strategies to give them employable and entrepreneurial skills. This is with the hope that they will be much more attractive on the job market and those with entrepreneurial skills can develop businesses of their own and even employ others,” he added.
Aside the funds, he said, the 32 beneficiaries were taken through intensive training by the Business Advisory Council (BAC) of the National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI).
He said the training was meant to develop their skills in their respective trades.
He noted that the beneficiaries were selected by the communities and if the programme progressed based on the output of the 32 pioneers, many others would be enrolled.
Advice to beneficiaries
The general manager also advised the beneficiaries not to let the investments go to waste since the success of the programme depended on them.
“To our beneficiaries, the success of the programme depends on you. We have invested GH¢115,000 into your training and start-up capital and we believe you will not let this go to waste. We expect you to grow your businesses, employ and train others in your communities so that together, each one will have a meaningful source of livelihood,” he noted.
“I will also urge you to invest a bit in research to improve on what you have learnt over the period. In the next few years, you should come out with improved products to sustain your market and be in competition. Make us proud,” he added.