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National Service Not Paid Employment – Kpessah-Whyte Tells Service Personnel
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Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte
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The Acting Executive Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Dr Michael Kpessa-Whyte says there is no immediate plan by government to increase the monthly allowance paid to the personnel from the present ¢350.

Answering questions from the service personnel working in various establishments in the Tema industrial enclave on Tuesday, he asked National Service personnel not to see the service as paid employment but rather as part of their introduction to the corporate world.

Speaking to service personnel serving in various organizations he toured, he said national service is to enable them mingle with the larger society and experience the corporate environment as it applies in the real world.

The visit took him to the Ghana Grid Company, GridCo, Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, GPHA and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, GNPC. At the various establishments, Dr Kpessa-Whyte, told directors and management staff that his visit was part of a programme embarked upon by the NSS to obtain feedback from both service personnel and user agencies needed to improve the scheme.

The human resource director of GridCo, the power transmission company, Mr Allotey said the service personnel have over the years proved themselves as a very valuable and relevance human resource base for the company. He stressed that if the possibility were there, they would employ all of them in various capacities. He said the nine months they spend is always worthwhile as it equips them with the basics of the corporate world and this arrangement has been mutually beneficial to the 77 service personnel sent to the company out of who some have been posted to the company’s stations outside the Accra-Tema axis.

The director who started the assessment tour from Gridco told the management that the service personnel are just fresh from school and they are therefore to be directed to be able to transit from the academic mode to the work environment. He added that the management should therefore see it as participating in the process to groom the next set of leaders in the various sectors. The practical training, he said, would enable them to adjust and appreciate situations when faced with one.

Speaking with the service personnel later, he asked them to see national service as a training process that would open their eyes to various business opportunities inherent in the country. He admonished them to build their social networks now from these interactions as they could be very useful in the future. At the Tema Port, he was told that the personnel there have their own association that look into their affairs unlike others where the personnel form district associations.

The management told Dr Kpessa-Whyte that GHAPOHA has proved to be a veritable training ground for the personnel as it is one of the largest providers of vacancies for the personnel. Currently, the authority has 422 personnel with 75 in Takoradi and 357 in Tema. He was informed of one case of indiscipline which has been reported to the NSS. The executive director said such incidents must be reported to the secretariat as government is now determined to implement to the latter the provisions of the NSS law which makes it compulsory for all tertiary students to perform the service. The law makes it mandatory and it even bars those who dodge national service from setting up even their private businesses.

He reminded that the scheme is not in the business of getting completing service personnel permanent jobs; rather it is what they have learnt on the job that will give them ideas on how to create their own employment opportunities. At the various establishments, the service personnel briefed the directors on what they had learnt in terms of work culture and the practical aspects of their daily chores.

Source: The General Telegraph 

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