The Government, has released yet another book, listing the many interventions carefully tailored to train, equip and support, especially the youth, to create jobs, become entrepreneurs to reduce the growing unemployment in the country.
The book titled “Get Skills Create Jobs”, is under the auspices of the Office of the President, supervised by a Senior Policy Advisor and Head of Presidential Delivery Unit, Dr. Valerie Sawyerr.
The red, gold, green and white book, comes on the heels of the “Green Book” detailing the various achievements of the John Dramani Mahama government.
The very diligent Dr. Sawyeer, in a Foreword, said the book was in line with the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) 2012 manifesto pledge, adding it is a renewed pledge by President John Dramani Mahama to address the challenge of widespread unemployment among the youth nationwide.
Themed “Creating a skilled workforce towards Ghana’s transformation”, the book has several pictorial evidences of beneficiaries and also that of the president visiting some of them to assess the impacts of the various initiatives introduced by NDC government for a brighter future.
President Mahama’s Senior Policy Advisor and Head of Presidential Delivery Unit, said, “Global challenges faced by the youth in finding decent jobs, has been described by industry watchers as a threat to social, economic and political stability.
This difficulty is compounded by lack of proper research by the youth to enable them find avenues for job creation. It is further exacerbated by rigid expectations in relation to white-collar jobs, instead of exploration of entrepreneurial outlets”.
The book catalogues some skills training and job creation programmes run by various state institutions, with emphasis on applicable criteria and selection processes. While some of these programmes are known to many people and some have taken advantage of, others are not readily known making them underutilized.
For easy understanding and possible accessibility of the programmes, the book gives information on available schemes at each institution, what its entails, eligibility, target groups, procedures, location and contacts.
The 66-page document outlines in detail, the various programmes such as the Youth Enterprise Support (YES), an initiative established in August 2014 with a seed capital of GH¢10, 000, 000.00, to assist young Ghanaians, with creative and innovative business ideas and plans to achieve their full potential.
Launched by the president, YES was to open up economic avenues for, and ensure active involvement of the youth in national development through entrepreneurship development.
The first batch of applications was opened from September 1, 2014-October 10 2014 while the second was opened from January 22, 2016-February 19,
2016. YES is under the Office of the President and it Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is Helga Boadi.
Some of the programmes available for beneficiaries include agriculture and agri-business, food processing and marketing, cottage industries, manufacturing, ICT service business, building and construction, FAST-TECH and arts and crafts.
There is also a technical vocational institute called “Opportunities Industrialization Centre (OIC) located at Shiashe, East Legon, Accra. It is a government sub-vented organization under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations. The OIC runs a two-year programme in skills training and all courses are taught programmes.
Students are admitted throughout the year and programmes are not semester-based. Aside the Greater Accra Regional branch at Shiashe, applicants can find branches in Kumasi and Takoradi. Programmes taught are: electrical, fashion designing, auto mechanics graphic arts, plumbing, hospitality, masonry, textiles etc.
Youth in Agriculture Programme (YiAP), is an initiative aimed at motivating the youth to embrace farming or food production as a commercial ventures. The programme is intended to help generate income to meet the father’s domestic and personal needs.
The youth through this programme, will be motivated to stay in rural areas where inputs such as improved seedlings and fertilizer, will be delivered to their farm gates on credit and without interest.
Gratis Foundation, under the Ministry of Trades and Industry, is to promote small-scale industrialization. Gratis’ training programmes are aimed at equipping both men and women with the requisite technical, vocational and entrepreneurial skills for self-employment.
The National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI) needs just a BECE certificate holder to be trained at this facility.
It was established to provide demand-driven employable skills and enhance the income generating capacities of basic and secondary school leavers. It provides apprenticeship, master craftsmanship, testing and career development.
It also provides training programmes for industrial and clerical workers as well as training for instructors. The academic year starts in January and ends in December.
Microfinance and Small Scale Loans Centre (MASLOC), is perhaps one of the populous interventions by government, assisting people from different communities and regions, nationwide. One of the groups of people who have greatly benefited from this initiative is, taxi drivers who drive some of their MASLOC taxes across the country and also market women.
It is a microfinance apex body responsible for implementing the Government’s microfinance programme targeted at reducing poverty, creating jobs and wealth.
Since coming into being, MASLOC established itself not only as a microfinance institution that disburses micro and small loans to the identified poor in the various sectors of Ghanaian economy, but also as an institution that provides business advisory services, training and capacity building for small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as well as collaborating institutions.
There is the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) established under the Youth Employment Act 2015 (Act 887) to empower young people to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic and sustainable development of the nation.
The objective of YEA, is to support the youth through skills training and internship modules to transit from a situation of unemployment to that of employment. Some of the modules are youth in health, security, youth, education, disability, trade and vacation, agribusiness, paid internship.
The National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), is aimed at improving the competitiveness of Micro and Small Enterprise (MSEs) by facilitating the provision of business development programmes and integrated support services.
NBSSI offers subsidized credits (loans) of GH 10, 000.00 to skilled entrepreneurs over a two-year period with a re-payment monthly plan of 12.5% interest rate per annum. It operates 170 Business Advisory Centres (BAC) throughout the country.
Under the Ministry of Education, Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), was established to coordinate and oversee technical and vocational education and training.
It sources funding is to support technical and vocational education and training. Skills development initiatives under COTVET include Development of Skills for industry Project (DSIP) and Ghana TVET Voucher Project. DSIP is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Government of Ghana (GoG).
Other available avenues are the Community Information Centres (CICs), Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes (YLSTI), Rural Enterprises Programme (REP), Integrated Community Centre for Employers Skills (ICCES), Graduate Enterprise Development Initiative (GEDI), Fisheries Training Programme (FTP), SADA-Tricycle Assembling Programme and National Board for Small Scales Industries (NBSSI).
Dr. Sawyerr, hoped the document will enlighten its readers especially the youth about opportunity available in these areas and encourage you to take
that all-important step towards transforming your circumstances.