In a move to help reduce the ever-increasing graduate unemployment in the country, Duapa-werkspace, a business development entity, has partnered with Takoradi Technical University to train and support about 1000 students to build viable businesses within the next five years.
This follows a 5-year Memorandum of Understanding signed between Takoradi Technical University and Duapa Werkspace, a non-governmental organization.
Takoradi Technical University is expected to provide the physical space to host the setting up of an innovation hub as well as contribute two staff for the hub, while Duapa Werkspace is to provide furnishing, electronic devices and run the place.
The objective of the MoU is to use the Innovation Hub to “improve employability potential of the youth, especially students that pass through the Innovation Hub, promote entrepreneurship among graduate and non-graduate youth as pathways to employment.”
It also has the aim to “initiate advocacy on impact sourcing to drive youth employment, provide opportunities for students to give back to the university community as wells as promote the development of new research…to promote research in areas that have the potential economic benefit and business relevance”.
Speaking to Citi News after the signing of an MoU, the Chief Executive of Duapa-Werkspace, Erasmus Ackon said they have a mandate to build and run an Innovation Hub at TTU to produce enterprising graduates and non-graduates that look for employment.
“Within five years, we are looking at more than 1000 students and for every semester, there are going to be various programs and activities both networking sections, capacity building programmes and market linkages. Most of the time, they build programs and there is no market need, so we will help them with the development of their products and then also provide that market opportunities for them. Various exhibitions, various roadshows and trade shows to help them to bring their products out”, he said.
The Vice-Chancellor of TTU, Rev. Prof. John Frank Eshun, who signed the MoU on behalf of the University’s Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies, CELLIBS, which is to work with Duapa Werkspace said such industry partnership is critical to TTU’s vision of producing professionals attractive to the industry employment and entrepreneurship.
“I thank you for coming on board to partner Takoradi Technical University. Our vision is to become a world-class technical university recognized with excellence, innovation and societal relevance and throughout the whole week we’ve been signing MoU, and we have been entering into partnerships with industries. I believe the private sector is the engine of growth of the economy, and I believe partnering with the private sector will help the university to position itself to be able to achieve this objective. Our major program facing Ghana is unemployment, and I’m very happy that you have come to set up an entrepreneurship incubation hub and this will help train our students to be able to come out with jobs after graduation,” he said.
The Centre manager for the CELLIBS Innovation Hub, Michael Asante Saforo in a presentation said Duapa Werkspace has skill development and entrepreneurship models for the youth.
“Duapa werkspace has skill D-Voc, Duapa fashion, Startup Tadi, Ewurapa programme which basically targets girls in STEM Programmes. Thus, Duapa has an orientation to support female development through its Ewurapa initiative, incubator and IT4Teens that instills ICT in the youth”, he said.
Similarly, Takoradi Technical University’s Centre for Languages and Liberal Studies also signed a 2-year MoU with Coronation Foundation, a Takoradi based Civil Society Organization to partner in areas such as research, community outreach in cleanups, health support and employment venture support.