31 July 2014

Ghana: AGA Addresses Gender Imbalance in Engineering Apprenticeship

Obuasi — ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI has given hints of its intention to increase the number of women enrolled in their routinely two-year apprenticeship programme, in a bid to address gender imbalance in the engineering sector.

The Managing Director, Mr. Fredrick Attakumah, has given the assurance that the AGA will continue to increase the number of females enrolled every year, to ensure they also get their fair share of jobs in the company. He said the position of the company is explained in the fact that women had demonstrated a competitive spirit to participate in the training programmes, during which 73 students, mostly from AGA communities, were schooled on disciplines such as electrical, mechanical, instrumental, mobile equipment, wielding, fabrications and others at the cost of the AGA.

Mr. Attakumah hoped the acquired skills at the training will earn the grandaunts good jobs anywhere in the world, and urged them to strive for the best, as they gear up for the challenges ahead of them. He said training and development was a priority for the AGA, to ensure that the company recruits the right people with right skills and knowledge to execute the right roles at work, since safety, responsibility and effectiveness is critical for the graduands to turn the company's weakness and threats to build on its strengths and opportunities.

"Let's use your newly-acquired skills and experience as tools to navigate through the myriad of challenges facing Obuasi to carve a niche for your selves," he stated. He disclosed that AGA's partnership with the communities, and the Ghanaian society in general, had contributed significantly to capacity building in junior, middle and senior management roles at the AGA operations in Ghana, Guinea, Mali and other countries, which, he said, was in line with their values of ensuring that communities and societies where the AGA operates benefit from its presence.

The AGA MD asserted that they (AGA) had been offering the apprentice programme, as one of the training and development courses since 2004 in Ghana at its own cost, saying the apprenticeships are offered to new graduates from the polytechnics and technical institutions, mostly from AGA communities. He said the apprenticeship sector is accredited by the United Nation's City and Guilds, and the prime motive of the sector was to address deficient skills level in the Obuasi Engineering Department and general management.

He stressed that the centre also offers apprenticeship training programmes, senior technician programmes, supervisors training programmes, supervisors training programmes and graduate engineering training programmes, and has been training, not only AGA employees, but others from Golden Star Resources, Carmeuse Lime, WAMCO, GHACEM, Hess Equatorial Guinea, West Africa Pipeline and a host of others.

Mr. Solomon Tweneboa, on behalf of the graduands, thanked the AGA for providing them with the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge and skills, hoping that the training will go a long way to reduce the unemployment mantra in Obuasi and Ghana. He gave the assurance that they would, on their employment, contribute their quota to the growth of AGA.

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