The National Service Scheme (NSS) is set to begin the piloting of its poultry entrepreneurship initiative by supporting 20 graduates with funding and skills development.
The move forms part of efforts by the scheme to reduce unemployment among the youth.
Speaking at the closing of the maiden Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) training workshop in Accra on Monday, Executive Director of the NSS, Mustapha Ussif, said NSS personnel always faced challenges in transitioning into regular employment after the service, that was why his outfit prioritised entrepreneurship development for graduates, to equip them with the expertise to "think critically and inclined towards solving societal problems through business."
Subsequently, he revealed that the scheme in September 2017 started piloting the NSS entrepreneurship model with 500 graduates, which provides the essential support for graduates with entrepreneurial ideas and sound business models for implementing their ideas throughout the national service period and beyond.
He hoped that with the continuous support of the first cohort of the "poultry entrepreneurs," their success would stimulate interest in the sector and their experiences could be used to scale the module by attracting more entrepreneurs and investment into the programme.
"We expect that every farm can grow to create employment for at least 50 people who work within the poultry value chain," Mr Ussif added.
The NSS, he said, believed strongly that a strong partnership with the private sector could galvanise efforts towards empowering service personnel.
He reiterated the scheme's aim of focusing on creating entrepreneurs out of the large number of service personnel, saying "we want them to become job creators instead of moving from one office to another, looking for non-existent jobs."
According to Mr Ussif, his outfit would continue to play the role of talent broker for graduates and employers in the public and private sector.
He urged the beneficiaries of the training to put all the requisite skills acquired into practice and contribute immensely to the development of the nation.
He expressed gratitude to the Microfinance and Small Loans Centre (MASLOC), the National Youth Authority, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), National Board for Small Scale Industries (NBSSI), National Youth Authority (NYA) and Venture Capital for their support towards the realisation of the initiative.
Executive director of the NBSSI, Madam Kosi A. Yankee, mentioned that since the poultry sector was a major avenue, her outfit would not relent in its efforts to offer their support in ensuring that the poultry businesses of the beneficiaries thrived.
"We have been supporting several young people and this will not be any different," she assured.
One of the participants, Mr Adzignli Walter, a graduate of the Bolgatanga Polytechnic, expressed gratitude to the NSS for the opportunity, and promised that the group would make use of the laudable initiative.