At the heart of our CSR commitment to responsible mining is a focus on economically empowering people closest to our operations through employment, procurement training and skills development.
Our operations offer a lifetime opportunity to create a positive and lasting legacy. We provide capacity building and vocational training opportunities so local stakeholders can access employment and self-employment opportunities over the life of our operations.
Our policy is to fill as many positions as possible at all levels with Ghanaians. We are pleased to report that we have been successful in meeting that goal with a predominantly Ghanaian workforce since 2007.
We prioritize local suppliers of goods and services where prices and products are internationally competitive.
Asanko has adopted a partnership strategy that leverages expertise, funds, and an approach to local economic development that promotes sustainable community self-determination beyond the life of the Asanko Gold Mine.
We have partnered with the German organization, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on our local skills development programs. Together, we are implementing a number of development initiatives to empower local communities and build capacity. These include financial literacy, skills development, and healthcare. GIZ will match Asanko's funding dollar for dollar, which we hope will double the impact of our programs.
We are also partnering with the Don Bosco Youth Network (DBYN), who will be implementing our skills-development program. DBYN works within Ghana and three other West African countries to promote education, capacity building, and youth programs.
With the dedicated assistance of our respected partners, GIZ and the Don Bosco Youth Network, the Esaase Skills Development Centre (ESDC) opened its doors in February 2014 and the Obotan Skills Development Centre (OSDC) welcomed its first students at the end of the year.
The Skills Development Centres have a target of training at least 390 local youths between 2014 and 2016, with at least 25% to be female. They also have a goal of finding 70% of students employment within 12 months of completing training.
Courses are designed for short terms and consist of 80% practical, hands-on training. The courses have been accredited with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), the Ghanaian national body that coordinates and oversees technical and vocational education in the country. Trainees take COTVET-approved examinations before graduating from the training programs, at which point they are awarded National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI Level 1) certificates.
Upon completion of training programs, an employment counselor provides follow-up support for a period of six weeks to help graduates apply for jobs, form business groups to bid on sub-contracts, or start their own businesses. General life skills such as awareness of health and HIV/AIDS, financial literacy, and basic business skills have been integrated into all the training modules
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