Home » Mining Firms, Academia Unite to Boost Youth Employment

Mining Firms, Academia Unite to Boost Youth Employment

by Adenike Adeodun

In a significant push towards youth empowerment, mining companies in Ghana are now embarking on an innovative path. They are forging partnerships with universities and vocational training institutions. The goal is clear: to develop technology-centric programmes. These initiatives are not just about education; they are about shaping a workforce that is ready for the future.

At the heart of this transformation is the drive to bridge the academic-industry gap. The recent call by Henry Antwi, a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (FAusIMM), underscores this. Speaking at the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) National Youth Conference in Accra, Antwi highlighted the urgent need for such collaborations.

This maiden conference, themed “Building Resilience in a Rapidly Changing World of Work: The Role of Young Workers,” was more than just a meeting. It was a convergence of minds and ideas. Young miners from firms like AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields Ghana Ltd, alongside students and other stakeholders, came together. Their mission? To discuss ways to empower youth in mining and ensure the sector’s resilience amidst global changes.

Mr Antwi’s message was clear: professional expertise is vital, but so are soft skills. In a world where job market dynamics are ever-changing, creativity, critical thinking, and adaptability are invaluable assets. He encouraged the youth to embrace these skills and urged the union to facilitate mentorship programmes. Such initiatives can connect young workers with seasoned professionals, providing a much-needed bridge between learning and doing.

Dennis Yaw Atuwo, Chairman of the National Youth Council of the Trades Union Congress, Ghana, spoke of the transformation within the mining sector. As it embraces new technologies, the need for skilled young workers becomes paramount. Atuwo believes that the youth’s capacity can bring innovative change to the mining sector, making the industry resilient and adaptable.

The insights and strategies emerging from this conference are more than just words; they are potential game-changers for Ghana’s mining sector. They represent a roadmap for how the industry can evolve and continue to be a cornerstone of the Ghanaian economy.

According to a report by Daily Graphic, GMWU General Secretary, Abdual-Moomin Gbana, emphasised the importance of being attuned to the changing environment. He encouraged the youth to reposition themselves to face the new normal. Gbana highlighted the union’s commitment to training the youth, ensuring they have the skills to thrive in emerging job markets. He called on governments to implement policies that address the concerns of young people, creating opportunities for employment.

This collaboration between academia and industry is not just a step; it’s a leap towards a future where the youth are not just workers but innovators and change-makers in the mining sector. By equipping them with the right skills and knowledge, we are paving the way for a more resilient, adaptive, and prosperous industry.

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