The Vice President of the Republic, Alhaji Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, launched the NPP government's latest employment initiative, The Job Centre, which seeks to connect the Ghanaian youth to job opportunities.
The initiative comes under the auspices of the Youth Employment Agency (Agency), an agency of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations charged with the core mandate of supporting the youth to undergo skills training and internship modules for the purpose of transitioning them from a situation of unemployment to that of employment.
In launching the Job Centre initiative, Dr Bawumia urged the youth of the country who are desirous of getting decent and sustainable jobs to take full advantage of the programme and avail themselves to be connected to job opportunities via the YEA's Job Centre platform which is an online portal that allows job seekers and employers to interact.
He extolled the enviable achievements of the Akufo-Addo government in the area of job creation, where he observed that the government, in the past two and half years, had given financial clearance for the recruitment of over 350,000 young people in the strict formal sector.
The vice president also gave some employment statistics that speak to the unrivaled commitment of the Akufo-Addo government to tackling the debilitating unemployment menace. These figures were corroborated by the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Hon Ignatius Baffour-Awuah citing incontrovertible data from the Ghana Statistical Service and the Ghana Living Standards Survey.
The Minister stated for instance, that, per these verifiable data, unemployment rate, based on strict ILO definition, had reduced from 11.9% in 2015 to 3.7% in 2019.
Notwithstanding this, Dr. Bawumia said, the focus of this administration is to empower the informal and private sectors to complement government's efforts at reducing the menace of unemployment because the public sector does not have the capacity to absorb a significant number of the teeming unemployed.
It is for this reason, according to him, that, government remains focused on supporting the private/informal sector and building the human resource capacity of the Ghanaian through policies like NABCO, Free SHS, abolishment of fees for post graduate medical studies, digitization of the economy, removal of nuisance taxes to reduce the cost of doing business, 1D1F initiative, NEIP, direct financial and technical support for SME development among others.
Speaking at the launch, the Board Chair of the YEA, Sammi Awuku, gave an overview of the strategic direction of the Agency geared at creating gainful and non-exploitative employment for young people, which he said, is sine quo non to national development.
The Board Chair, who doubles as the National Organizer of the governing NPP, assured the Ghanaian public that the Youth Employment Agency shall remain relentless in discharging its core mandate of enhancing the employability of the youth through skills development and connecting them to existing and emerging sustainable jobs.
Sammi Awuku used the opportunity to, on behalf of the governing board and management of YEA, thank all the YEA Job Centre Ambassadors comprising Bola Ray, Jackie Appiah, Wendy Shey, Emelia Brobbey, Hon. Catherine Afeku and Rebecca Donkor for their voluntary but invaluable contributions to the activities of the Agency and receiving no penny for their services.
He also applauded the Lead Partner of the YEA Job Centre initiative, Her Excellency Hajia Samira Bawumia, the Second Lady of the Republic, for the effective partnership and support she continues to offer to the YEA tailored towards facilitating and creating sustainable employment opportunities for the youth of the country.
On his part, the CEO of YEA, Lawyer Justin Kodua Frimpong, posited that the YEA Job Centre seeks to, inter alia, strategically position the Agency as a facilitator and coordinator of jobs with one stop access for the youth of the country.
The centre, according to him, shall offer Advice and Guidelines to the underemployed and unemployed youth and to improve their employability through skills training, job matching, and advisory services to enable them move into a regime of sustainable employment.
Lawyer Kodua also gave further details on the four sustainable job initiatives that were being launched which include the Job Centre, Artisan Directory, District Flagship Projects and YEA Work Abroad Programme.
He, thereafter, invited the job seeking youth and employers to visit the website of the job centre which he gave as: www.yeajobcentre.gov.gh and upload their details.
The launch of the initiative which came off at the University of Ghana was witnessed was attended by some Ministers of State, Heads/CEOs of public institutions and state enterprises, captains of industry, association of employers, identifiable youth groups, students and host of other stakeholders.