Case Studies

Yahaya, Get Into

16th May 2024

After several years searching for work, Yahaya is now a self-employed solar and electrical technician in northern Ghana.

With electricity coverage growing fast locally, Yahaya’s newly-launched business takes on electrical jobs and small-scale solar installation for local households. ‘I love doing what I do,’ says Yahaya. ‘I want to thank YOTA and Prince’s Trust International… They gave me the opportunity to start something.’

Yahaya was among the first group of trainees to go through our ‘Get Into’ programme in Ghana, on a course focused on supporting young people into green trades. As electricity coverage grows, especially in rural areas, he describes how solar energy has a vital role to play.

‘Electricity is growing faster and faster and faster. It’s grown significantly from when I was little,’ Yahaya explains. ‘Solar energy is something I would always recommend. It’s clean energy… and it’s super-reliable. It won’t go out when there’s a light out [blackout].’

An opportunity to learn and earn

Prior to joining the programme, Yahaya had no steady income, and had to depend on his extended family for financial support. ‘I wasn’t working. I’d struggled for work for some time,’ he recalls. ‘I’d been searching for three or four years. I was searching and searching and it wasn’t happening. I was always hoping to get an opportunity, and I’m so grateful.’

Designed by Prince’s Trust International, and delivered in Ghana by Youth Opportunity and Transformation in Africa (YOTA), Get Into is an employer-led training programme. The content varies depending on the sector – a mixture of general employability skills such as communication and reliability, and technical, sector-specific knowhow, followed by a work experience placement.

‘This was a great opportunity for me,’ says Yahaya. ‘I was part of the first group. I went through the soft skills programme and the internship. The whole programme was so amazing, it was the first time I’d involved myself in something like this.’

Yahaya did his internship with an energy company that sells, installs and maintains solar panels and a wide variety of solar-powered products, ranging from lamps and lighting systems to water pumps and power banks. ‘It taught me a lot about solar,’ Yahaya recalls, ‘I used to think it was only about phones and light bulbs, but solar has a lot to give to the world.’

The skills for success

Alongside developing his technical knowledge, Yahaya also highlights how the training around communication skills, managing emotions and handling disputes have been critically important in enabling him to market his services and engage constructively with clients.

‘I learned a lot that was very useful for my marketing work,’ he explains. ‘It helped me get better at communicating with people… Now I can manage any situation. If someone is intimidating or bossy I know how to handle it because I went through this training.’

Yahaya’s improved interpersonal skills have been doubly beneficial, as they have helped him establish two separate income streams. As he and his business partner gradually build up their local client base, Yahaya has been supplementing his income by taking on shifts as a local tour guide. He says that he often draws on the skills from the programme in this side of his work too, building rapport with tourists and troubleshooting any issues as he shows them around.

‘In everything you do in life you need to have soft skills,’ he explains. ‘I learned a lot about how to be responsible and how to manage your emotions… I learned how to talk to people.’

Please bear with us while we update our website. We appreciate your patience as we transition to The King’s Trust International.