The Vice President of the Republic, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, on Wednesday 2nd October, 2019 launched another major plank in the Akufo-Addo government's quest to create employment opportunities for Ghanaian youth, with the unveiling of a number of initiatives piloted by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA).
At a ceremony in Accra, Vice President Bawumia launched the four initiatives - the YEA Job Centre, Artisan Directory, Regional Flagship Project, and the Work Abroad Programme - designed to create opportunities for matching job seekers to job opportunities both inside and outside the country's shores.
According to officials of the YEA, the Job Centre seeks to functionally align a wide range of publicly- and privately listed employment, training and educational opportunities and also provide high-quality customer service to job seekers and potential employers. They will offer training, career counseling, job listings, and similar employment-related services.
The Artisan Directory, on the other hand, seeks to provide trained artisans with the ready market to sell their craft and services. It will connect artisans to the market place of skills and services. The Artisan Directory will constitute an active database of artisans (trained and certified) and will provide basic information such as company details, services and locations.
The Regional Flagship Project seeks to create sustainable livelihoods for the youth by leveraging on the comparative uniqueness of our regions and districts. Central to the Regional Flagship Project is the reliance on agriculture to create jobs for the youth. The project intends to directly engage at least 10,000 youth within the first year of implementation.
The Work Abroad Programme is focused on finding decent employment opportunities for young Ghanaians outside the shores of the country. The YEA, in partnership with key stakeholders will aggressively explore opportunities across the globe and connect Ghanaians to these opportunities with the view of positioning them to contribute meaningfully to the socioeconomic development of the country.
In remarks before the launch, Vice President Bawumia indicated that the Government of President Akufo-Addo is working to leave a legacy of a knowledge-based, capable and resilient economy in the context of the 4th Industrial Revolution.
"We are not to be left behind. Ghana must succeed. And you are the main drivers," Vice President Bawumia told the youth of Ghana.
"Government is aware of the reality that, from 2020, when the first batch of free SHS students graduate, our universities and other tertiary institutions will be confronted with the challenge of higher numbers of students seeking admission. We also recognize that not all of them will seek further education. Some will seek to enter the world of work.
"In this regard, creating gainful and non-exploitative employment for young people now more than ever is crucial to our development. Some 250,000 young people enter the job market every year putting pressure on the limited employment opportunities. Getting this population employed remains our major socio-economic challenge. We need to create new jobs or help provide access to existing job vacancies," he emphasised.
Vice President Bawumia commended the board, chaired by Mr Sammi Awuku, the staff, led by Justin Koduah and management of the Youth Employment Agency for their dedication to helping Ghanaian youth acquire decent jobs, adding, "We celebrate your hard work and commitment to finding solutions to the challenges of youth unemployment in this country."