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General News Fri, 16 Nov 2001

Registration of unemployed extended

The National exercise to register the unemployed has been extended to November 21, 2001.

The exercise, which was supposed to end yesterday, was extended to enable more unemployed persons to register.

Mr Joe Donkor, a Deputy Minister of Manpower Development and Employment, said the extension was in response to calls from members of the public.

He said the exercise has progressed smoothly so far, except a few technical problems which are being addressed.

He expressed the hope that the exercise will achieve its objective of capturing an accurate data of the number of the unemployed.

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When Graphic visited some selected centres for the registration, many of the youth who had queued to register expressed optimism that the data that will be collated will help to address the problems on the job market.

In an interview at the Roxy Cinema Registration Centre at Adabraka, Agya Sei, a 24-year-old driver said he was hopeful that the exercise will help him secure a job.

Mr Robert Quaicoe, agent at the centre, said about 600,000 people have so far been registered.

At the National Labour Statistics Centre at the ministries, Mr S. A. Fevlo, the registration agent said he had registered about 2,500 people, and that there were no problems except the lack of ink pads.

Mr Eric Sagoe, a 24-year-old unemployed school drop-out, expressed interest in enlisting in the Police Service or the Army.

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A hawker, Kwaku Antwi Agyei commended the government for taking steps to honour its promise of job creation.

In another development, Shirly Quaicoo reports from Cape Coast that, out of more than 3,000 unemployed people who have registered in the Cape Coast Municipality, only 10 of them are graduates.

The majority of them are artisans with either basic, middle or secondary school certificate. Others have no education or skills at all.

This came to light when the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Muniru Arafat Nuhu, visited the four registration centres in the municipality.

There were still long queues at all the centres with people still trooping in to register.

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Most of the people who were interviewed said after their apprenticeship training they could not find capital to start their own businesses.

Others claimed to be underemployed because they cannot access capital to expand their businesses.

At the Effutu Registration Centre, Yaw Baidoo, a 19-year-old driver said he is still a driver’s mate after apprenticeship because he has not got a car to drive.

There are yet some who do not recognise farming as a job and came to register as unemployed persons.

All the registration officers at the centres complained about the delay in the payment of their allowances and called for the quick release of funds to pay them. They described the exercise as generally successful.

Speaking to newsmen later, Mr Arafat said the NPP government promised Ghanaians jobs during the election campaign and the exercise is a step towards creating employment opportunities and placement for the unemployed.

He mentioned specifically the high unemployment situation in the municipality and expressed the hope that the exercise will be a step towards resolving the problem.

Source: Graphic