The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) under the Ghana Power Compact Internship and Mentoring Programme (GPCIMP), is to recruit 200 female Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) students for internship into the various energy and engineering institutions in Ghana.
The GPCIMP is a gender responsiveness in power utilities to support STEM female students, which is opened to third year Ghanaian females in public technical/engineering universities, polytechnics and Technical and Vocational Schools pursuing career in the STEM field.
This is to help female students in the engineering sector to gain practical skills relevant for the job market, build their confidence to improve their coping skills to deal with stereotypes and the negative attitudes towards women in STEM, as well as enhance their employment opportunities.
From 2019-2021, the programme would support a minimum of 200 female STEM students each year to under-go a two-month internship and mentoring program with energy sector organizations in both the public and private institutions.
The programme beneficiaries would receive protective equipment/clothing medical and accident insurance and a stipend disbursed monthly for the two months enrolled on the programme, however, it would not provide accommodation for interns.
This was made known at an outreach information session organized for students at the Koforidua Technical University (KTU) to explain the programme and its benefits as well as the requirements for the application to the students.
Dr Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, Director of Gender and Social Inclusion MiDA, said the programme beneficiaries begin their programme during the long vacation, starting from June to mid-August every year through strong collaboration and partnerships with private, public and civil society organizations.
She said the GCPIMP was a response to address the low representation of women in the energy and engineering sectors adding that "despite the fact that STEM female students are increasing, there appears to be challenges along the way preventing females to stay in the energy sector".
According to her, research had shown that, most women shun the idea of pursuing engineering programmes due to misconceptions and described the programme as employer driven with the ultimate goal to get more females into employment in the energy and engineering sectors to balance the gender.
Dr Regina Bekoe, Senior Lecturer at the KTU urged more students to take advantage of the opportunity and apply to get the practical exposure in their chosen fields, adding that, the days where some jobs and programmes were meant for boys were over and that, with hard work and determination, females could bridge the gap in the engineering sector.
Mrs Helen Dza, Gender Officer MiDA, urged students to pay attention to the requirements in the application for the programme especially their curriculum vitae and to state where they would have no problem with accommodation since the programme did not offer accommodation.