By Gifty Arthur
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Kwabena Beechem, has applauded the bravery of some Community Police Assistants (CPAs), who are periodically posted to the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to help maintain law and order.
According to him, beneficiaries posted to the police administration at times, show more seriousness during operations to pursue criminals than even some police officers.
“In fact most of our CPAs in some cases are braver than some police men. In my area, I always say, there was a guy called Maxwell, they chased an armed robber, he jumped over the wall, it was a YEA official who jumped the wall and apprehended him”, he said.
Mr. Beechem, said this in reaction to a position that it was not always true that CPAs, who are posted to the police administration automatically get the chance to be recruited, when the police embark on recruitment exercise.
He explained that, the police is always minded by the fact that, some of these CPAs, show commitment to their work and so when it happens that they are recruiting, they as an Agency “are involved in the process, we monitor constantly as much as possible, so at the end of the programme, when it comes to that recruitment right, we make sure they recruit them”.
The CEO was speaking at a ‘Meet the Press” organized by the YEA on Tuesday in Accra to make known the achievements and the way forward of the Agency since its establishment early, this year.
YEA, formerly Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), was established some 10 years ago, as National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), but without legislative framework, it could not function as it should until last year, when it became the Youth Employment under Act 887 of 2015.
It received the necessary backing to oversee the development, coordination, supervision and facilitation of youth employment in various sectors of the economy.
Although, the Agency does not employ most of the beneficiaries, it recruits and trains, after which it partners government institutions, the private sector and Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) to employ them for a period of 2 years, after which they are employed permanently or they are given “exit funds” to start something on their own as entrepreneurs.
Speaking on their programmes so far, Mr. Beechem, said the Agency, has since April this year employed youth between the ages of 15-35 to a total of 62, 825 beneficiaries and is on course to meet to meet it target of 100,000 before the close of the year. The number covers the entire country including the disabled.
Plans are in place for new modules to be rolled out for the rest of the year to cater for the rest of the 100, 000 which is yet to be meet. The modules are, Greening Ghana, the National Vocational Training Institute (NVTI), YEA/LGS Collaboration, Road Safety, Suame Magazine, Department of Cooperation, Garment Production.
Beginning next year, Mr. Beechem, said the Greening Ghana module, is going to ensure that all regions have equivalent of the popular Ratray Park in Kumasi, initiated by the former Mayor, Kojo Bonsu.
He mentioned some of the already functioning modules as, the Community Police Assistant module, where they have recruited some 4, 832, Community Education Teaching 20, 603, Community Health Workers 19, 500, Fire Service Assistant, 2, 000. Others are Prisons Service Assistant 2, 000, E-Health Workers 1, 000 and many others.
Though YEA, is funded through taxes such as the Communication Tax and others, funds have been the main challenge for the programme but Mr. Beechem, said they are committed to excel in all they do because they are determined to deliver.
He mentioned some of the initiatives that have successfully been implemented to curb corruption, bureaucracy and human involvement such as the Cashless System, Online Registration for recruitment, Biometric Registration of Beneficiaries, Payment of Beneficiary allowance through E-Zwich among others.
Direct for Disability and Gender, Jacob Atulev Adongo, a physically challenged person, said it was refreshing to announce that YEA was the second largest organization aside the Ministry of Education that recruits disabled persons.
He said, 600 people with disability, have been trained and deployed under the module adding that there is a 10 percent quota for all modules for the disabled. YEA alone has recruited 21 Persons With Disability (PWDs) as permanent staff.
He added that very soon, they would be going on the street to recruit some of their disabled colleagues, who beg on the streets to engage them for sustainable businesses.