As part of preparations towards the Africa Unity Day celebrations, the Africa Internship Academy (AIA) in collaboration with Junior Achievement (JA) Ghana and the National Youth Authority organized “YOUth Harness 2017, a Job Shadow program on 24th May 2017 for Secondary school students (“shadows”) from two Senior High Schools in Accra. The aim of the program was to match these students with professionals (“hosts”) for a day of mentoring, giving students a glimpse into life as professionals in the careers they aspire to.
This partnership with Junior Achievement Ghana and the National Youth Authority is part of AIA’s mandate to connect Africa’s young talents through Internships and Innovative Exchange Programs such as YOUth Harness 2017 which is the first of its kind in Ghana.
The program started with a press briefing. Mr. Emmanuel Leslie Addae, a co-founder of AIA told the audience that a job shadowing experience allowed students to explore a specific career of interest by observing an employee perform their work duties at their place of work. He hoped that the day’s experience would provide realistic career information that will aid the students in making informed career choices.
The job shadowing experience was the first time most of the students left the comfort zone of their schools and experienced the real world of work
Mr. Addae hoped that through this exposure, you will be able to gain insight into your potential field of choice and decide for yourselves whether these are fields that you are interested in pursuing. We hope you will utilize this important activity for shaping your future success.
He expressed gratitude to the host companies Airtel, Fidelity, CFAO, UT Bank, Delta Airlines, Kenya Airways, GE and said their support was viewed not just as a national response but great contributions to the projections of the AU Agenda 2063 on Positive Youth Development. We hope many other corporate organizations will come on board in the future.
Ms. Elizabeth Bintliff Country Director of JA Africa encouraged students to be active participants in the program by asking questions and carefully noting the new environments they were about to be exposed to.
YOUth Harness 2017 run simultaneously alongside a Mini-Exhibition in Kumasi organized by the National Youth Authority as part of a nationwide outreach towards youth skills and entrepreneurial developments. It was the informal aspect of the formal, held in Accra. More so, it was executed on the same date as the formal one; 24th May 2017. Full supervision of the informal was under the National Youth Authority. The informal was held only on a day, but the formal was held from the 22nd through to 24th of May, 2017.The areas covered under the formal sector in Accra is the Ridge and the Airport enclave.
The responds of the participating students were encouraging. Students were enquiring how soon the program shall be organized again. The exposure according to them was least expected as compared to what they experienced. They were therefore pleased to be a part of this great event.
The reception by the hosts was fantastic across all the organizations. Some wished the program was three-day long.
Nevertheless, the team was overwhelmed of the outcome of the whole program. It is a therefore a must do program every year, just to help expose these students to be able to make realistic informed decisions on their desired career paths.