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Gold Fields Ghana Limited through its foundation is spending a total of $500,000 to train 47 university graduates from its host communities in mining and its related fields of work for the next two years.
Dubbed the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation Graduate Trainee Programme, the training intends to create a pool of rich human resource for the extractive sector by enrolling university graduates who have completed National Service on a two-year structured and on-the-job training and development.
To guarantee better learning outcomes the Learning and Development Department of the company has structured the training to enhance the learning experience by exposing the trainees to various practical aspects of mining operations.
The first batch of 47 graduates was enrolled in November, 2018 and is currently acquiring knowledge and skills in departments such as Mining, Engineering, Metallurgy, Finance, Human Resources and Community Affairs.
Speaking at the launch of the programme, Executive Vice President and Head of Gold Fields West Africa Alfred Baku expressed regret that the hope of many families to see their wards gainfully employed after school is normally dashed due to the worrying unemployment situation in the country.
“It is common knowledge that graduate unemployment continues to be a major challenge for this country. After four years of tertiary education and one year of national service, parents expect to see their children gainfully employed to ease the burden…For many families, however, this aspiration doesn’t materialize as graduates struggle to find meaningful jobs.”
He continued: “That is why we are excited today to launch the Gold Fields Ghana Foundation Graduate Trainee Programme”.
“After successfully completing the programme, it is hoped that these young graduates will acquire the right skills and competencies to make them employable in their chosen professions,” he said.
The Apinto Gyasehene, Nana Adarkwa, was hopeful the Graduate Trainee Programme and similar apprenticeship programmes will “change the common saying that we cannot get the right labor to work with in the host communities”.
“In the past, it was said that the communities do not have the requisite skills, the graduates, the learned people to take over jobs in the mines around us. It is fair to say that having these graduates shows that the trend is changing and that after 25 years of investment in primary, secondary and tertiary education by Gold Fields, we are seeing positive results.”
He also applauded the company for giving expression to its promise of sustainable mining through initiatives such as the Graduate Trainee Programme and other laudable infrastructure development.
“Apart from the 33km Tarkwa-Damang asphalt road, I’m also told that the Brahabebome roads have been captured for rehabilitation. The shift or combination of development of human capital with the development of infrastructure makes Gold Fields unique.”
The Graduate Trainee Programme adds to the many skills acquisition programmes Gold Fields has implemented in the host communities for the past 25 years.
In July this year, 50 young people from Tarkwa graduated after a 4-month training programme on how to operate dump trucks, forklifts and excavators.
And so far, about 159 young people have participated in Gold Fields’ mine-related apprenticeship programmes, which were rolled out in Damang in 2012 and 2013 and in Tarkwa in 2016 to 2019.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana