Before joining Challenging Heights’ Youth Empowerment Programme (YEP), Emmanuel said he knew how to type and some basic graphic design. It was once he went through the programme that he realized he had the skills and confidence to gain employment and eventually start his own business.
With a small metal container shop located near a side wall of University of Education Winneba’s North Campus, Emmanuel says skills he has on software like Corel Draw and Microsoft programmes have been helpful. He also greatly appreciated entrepreneurial skills taught in the YEP course. He said he now knows how to market a business, how to handle customer relations and how to adjust your business strategy to stay relevant in a competitive market. He works with many of his classmates from YEP, referring customers to each other depending on what the client’s needs are and who can best fulfil them. While Emmanuel runs his own shop, he even employs a former YEP classmate.
Personally and professionally, Emmanuel says young people today need technology skills, but often, those in Ghana don’t know computer or ICT basics as they should. Even if people don’t want to get into a field using technology, as he did, Emmanuel acknowledges that knowing how to type and create professional looking materials for any class presentation will speak volumes.
Of the Challenging Heights programme, Emmanuel feels confident that his certificate opens doors. Employers want to see that
candidates have gone through a course, but while so many students cannot afford to get into training programmes, the EMpower funded Youth Empowerment Programme serves as an opportunity for so many who otherwise could be left behind.
“If not for [YEP] I don’t think I’d be working in this sector,” Emmanuel says.