YEA has created direct jobs for Young Ghanaians

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…..Kofi Baah Agyepong

 The National Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has made significant achievements this year, creating direct employment for thousands of young people in the security, sanitation, health and other key sectors of the economy nationwide.

According to Kofi Baah Agyepong, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the YEA, the agency had engaged 15,000 Community Police Assistants, 6,000 community health workers, as well as 1,500 community prison assistants.

Mr Agyepong, said additionally, the agency had engaged 45,000 sanitation workers, 6,000 insurance agents, and 4,000 farm workers nationwide.

Mr Ageypong and other key staff of the YEA were in the Bono Region to launch the agency’s flagship Business Employment Assistance Programme in Sunyani on Monday, December 11 where the Vice President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, launched the Programme, an initiative aimed at nurturing young entrepreneurs and empowering them to generate employment opportunities for the large pool of unemployed youths in the country.

The YEA boss, indicated the private sector remained critical in building a robust economy, saying the agency had offered 5,000 entrepreneurship trainees and more than 70,000 indirect jobs through partnership with the private sector.

“It has been a result-oriented agency, delivering huge socio-economic interventions and impacting on hundreds of thousands of young people. So far, in its lifespan, the agency has touched about a million young lives. It has been a springboard for hurdles, a torch in the darkness and a great starter for lots of young people”, Mr Agyepong indicated.

The YEA boss, had explained that the new programme, would also benefit operators of car washing bays, chop bars, and provision stores as a step to salvage the unemployment situation in the country.

At the launch, the Vice President, stressed the government’s determination to create more jobs and make life better for the country’s youth which formed a huge chunk of the national population. He added that the Akufo-Addo government was doing a lot because about 73 per cent of the nation’s population was the youth below 35 years, and more ought to be done to fetch them jobs.

The new YEA initiative seeks to create jobs for 20,000 young people nationwide, with the YEA providing up to GH¢500 grant, and support to 10,000 registered Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMSEs).

Vice President Bawumia, commended the Board and management of the YEA for their commitment and innovations towards job creation and poverty reduction in the country.

 Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, also commended the Vice President for his commitment towards restructuring the YEA to make the Agency relevant in providing jobs for the people.

 “Through the Vice President, everything we need to train our young people in trade are ready,” he stated and called on the teeming unemployed youth to take advantage of the numerous government socio-economic intervention programmes to build their lives.

The government has recruited 2.1 million people into jobs, both in the private and public sectors, in the past seven years, Vice President Bawumia said, explaining that while the public sector had engaged 1.2 million people, the private sector is absorbing 975,000 people.

 “No government in the fourth republic or in the history of this country has been able to recruit this large number of people,” stated.

Notwithstanding, Alhaji Dr Bawumia, said there was still a large number of youths in the country who required jobs, saying, “We have a big job to create more jobs for the young people”.

Describing the new programme as a laudable initiative and a testament to the government’s focus on job creation, the Vice President commended the Board and management of the YEA and expressed the hope the youth would derive optimum benefit from the programme.

Alhaji Dr Bawumia, said the launch of the programme, and other initiatives, demonstrated the government’s commitment to job creation, an effort that had resulted in the creation of more jobs than any government has ever done in the history of the country.

“Unemployment was a real problem, and we even had the unemployment graduate association. Our focus, therefore, was to improve job creation through the public and private sector,” the Vice President stated.

“I can say with all humility that no government in the history of the fourth Republic has done this, and this cannot be challenged. It is the fact,” Alhaji Dr Bawumia indicated, stressing “Despite the unprecedented 1.2m jobs created more will be done to create more jobs for the Ghanaian youth due to the growing youth population of the country”.

The youth of the country, Alhaji Dr Bawumia, explained remained the greatest resource, and “it is, therefore, collective duty to ensure that they are well positioned to make significant contributions to the economic development of our dear nation”.

Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, highlighted the government’s determination to create jobs for young people and called on the youth to engage in entrepreneurship and skills training to benefit from the government programmes.

The National Youth and Employment Programme (NYEP) was launched in November 2006, aiming to provide decent employment opportunities and address poverty reduction, healthcare, education, and governance.

Reforms were carried out to enhance control mechanisms and expand the programme’s scope and this led to the transition from the NYEP to the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

In 2012, the NYEP underwent review to strengthen its operations to incorporate entrepreneurship, and consequently re-named GYEEDA, however in 2013, management challenges prompted the appointment of an Impact Assessment Review Committee. The five-member committee recommended the establishment of the YEA, as a public service organization, backed by a Legislative Instrument in 2015.

Thus the Agency came into existence under the YEA Act 2015 (Act 887) with the mandate to empower the youth between ages 15 to 35 through job creation to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the sustainable socio-economic development of the nation.

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