Vice President, Alhaji Dr Mahamudu Bawumia yesterday launched a one-stop “Job Centre” expected to complement government’s efforts at reducing youth unemployment in the country.
The centre, spearheaded by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) seeks to leverage on technology to link job seekers to employers while serving as an exit point for beneficiaries under various existing modules of the YEA.
Similarly, three other job driven initiatives; the Artisan Directory, Work Abroad and Flagship Project components were launched under the centre to provide targeted job opportunities for the youth to lead meaningful lives.
While the Artisan Directory seeks to formalise the artisanal industry by connecting professionals to ready market, the flagship projects focuses on harnessing avenues and resources at the community level to create jobs.
The “Work Abroad” module on the other hand, explores opportunities in foreign countries, connecting the youth to available decent employment.
Delivering his address, the Vice President indicated that given the overwhelming numbers churning out of the educational institutions across the country, government was keen on creating the needed jobs and opportunities to absorb the teeming youth.
“The first batch of Free Senior High School (SHS) students will be completing in 2020 and we are mindful that while some may gain admission into the universities, others may enter the job market and we need to create new jobs while providing access to existing vacancies.
Gradually, old jobs are giving way to technological innovations and we need to use technology to change the world of work and provide jobs,” he noted.
Dr Bawumia recounted the numerous interventions put in place by government with the aim of creating jobs and building human resource capacity, urging the private sector to come on board to augment the job creation agenda.
“The YEA is setting the pace to connect the youth with critical programmes for sustainable living and now is the right time for the private sector to come on board.
“Load your vacancies onto their portal, support in the training of our young people and young people should register to easily access on hand opportunities and I hope that through coordinated efforts, youth unemployment will be curtailed in the country,” he stated.
Sector Minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah submitted that unemployment figures in the country had dropped from 11.9 per cent in 2015 to 3.7 per cent owing to government commitment to the area.
According to him, past modules rolled out by the YEA had failed to yield much results as regards to reducing unemployment as beneficiaries had no clear cut opportunities after exiting the modules.
“We therefore thought the two-year module onto the YEA programmes should be a thing of the past. The Job Centre we are convinced will not only address the need of the job market but data obtained on the platform will be critical for decision making moving forward.”
Mr Awuah said his Ministry was in the process of developing a memo to streamline activities of Ghanaians working abroad “such that if a Ghanaian works in a country and pays social security there but decides to return home, we should have a means of putting the contributions together to improve people’s livelihood.”
Throwing more light on the initiatives, Chief Executive Officer of the YEA, Justin Kodua Frimpong said the segmented programmes were in line with repositioning the Agency as a “facilitator of jobs” by engaging both the private and public sector.
“The process of facilitation and recruitment into any of the programmes will be done purely based on merit and devoid of any political interference. Job seekers will be given adequate training in soft skills to position them strategically and enable them to take advantage of the opportunities under the economy.”
Mr Frimpong reiterated the Agency’s willingness to “take on the responsibility of managing and providing sustainable and tailor-made solutions to addressing youth unemployment situation in Ghana.”
BY YAW KYEI & ABIGAIL ANNOH