The National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) project an increased enrolment of not less than 500,000 onto the programme by the end of 2012, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Clement Kofi Humado revealed.
With the aid of the World Bank, the Minister said, the NYEP will roll out its programmes to absorb a lot of skilled youth on the job market into sustainably profitable ventures. He was speaking at the launch of the Youth Enterprise Development Project in Accra. The Project provides flexible funding for enterprising youth.
The World Bank is supporting the NYEP with an initial capital of $65 million to help address the youth unemployment in the country through the establishment of enterprises. Ghana has a high rate of graduate unemployment.
He said the government was poised to fulfil its “Better Ghana agenda” and that it was exploring every means possible to ensure that problems of the youth were addressed to justify the confidence the people of Ghana reposed in the NDC when they voted it into power in 2008.
He said the current state of NYEP demonstrated that the programme was the flag-ship of Government’s social intervention in job creation and youth development in order to cut the chain of poverty at an early stage of the cycle.
He said it was obvious that the programme had undergone radical transformation within the first two years of Professor Atta Mills’ government, adding, “The National Youth Employment Programme as we all know started its operations in September 2006, exactly five years ago, with just about 46,000 beneficiaries placed in five different modules. Presently the programme has engaged over 200,000 beneficiaries in 18 modules.”
Mr Humado proposed that the name of NYEP be changed to Youth Employment and Development Agency (YEDA) to conform with its current activities.
Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development who deputized for Vice President John Dramani Mahama stressed the government’s determination to transform the NYEP for smooth operation.
He said a well-structured exit plan had been put in place for all beneficiaries in the programme and that the programme was also structured to offer a two-year temporary employment to beneficiaries with the main objective of equipping them with the needed career direction, skills and relevant working experience to enable them to exit into mainstream employment avenues.
He said the disability desk established to take care of the special needs of persons with disability was ample demonstration that the government was more committed to the welfare of all persons and that the unit had since recruited over 600 persons with disability into various sectors of the economy.
He said the gesture had attracted the attention of the country’s development partners who were responding positively in that direction for the NYEP to continue with its various programmes.
Mr Ankrah said the programme had refocused attention on self-employment modules that provided training and logistical support to beneficiaries to establish and run their own businesses.
He commended the World Bank for the support and appealed to other funding agencies to help the government’s youth projects including that of the NYEP to help the youth to build their careers.
Mr Abuga Pele, National Coordinator of the NYEP said the new policy of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, upon realising its financial limitations, laid emphasis on trades and vocation modules, which increased the skills of beneficiaries.
He said the programme had so far employed some 230,000 youth and that NYEP was now targeting the unemployed graduates to equip them with the needed employable skills.
He commended the government for increasing the talk time tax from 20 per cent to 60 per cent, which was now giving the NYEP a monthly amount of 4.5 million Ghana cedis and expressed the hope that other funding agencies would support the programme.
Source: Daily Graphic
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