The National Youth Authority’s primary mission is to prepare the youth to assume the responsibility of adult life and to contribute to national development.
This inevitable role involves training in vocational skills. To this end, the Authority operates Youth Leadership Training Institutes (YLSTI) which provides young people between the ages of 15 and 24 with a two-year training programme in areas such as Agriculture, Dressmaking, Catering, Electrical Installation, Masonry, Carpentry & Joinery and Metal Work as well as Computer Studies.
In addition, students of these institutes are taught the fundamentals of English, Mathematics and Book keeping. Opportunities are provided for the students to develop their skills through on-the-job-training.
An important element of the course structure of these institutes is leadership training, which involves character development and physical training. As at now, there are about eleven YLSTI in operation across the country.
These are located at Avenorpeme in the Volta Region; Asankare, Ashanti Region, Afienya, Greater Accra; Takrowase, Eastern Region; Sandema, Upper East; and Issa, Upper West, Ajumako Afranse in the Central region and Abura and Wassa Akropong in the Western region among others.
Each year, 75 candidates are enrolled in each institute. At the end of the two-year course, they are examined for the Foundation Certificate & Certificate One, while the Institutes also award their own Diploma.
The foundation for the establishment of Youth Leadership and Skills Training was laid with the signing of an agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation of the then West Germany resulting in the establishment of the Youth Leadership Training Institute at Afienya in 1971.
In fulfillment of the employment and sustainable livelihood needs of young people, the National Youth Authority operates eleven (11) Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes to provide technical and vocational skills training for the youth.
The general aims of that agreement were:
To establish and operate a Youth Leadership Training Institute
To engage in other youth activities geared to the training of Youth Leaders.