Government will soon establish a Youth Employment and Development Fund to promote enterprise development among the youth, and assist in tackling unemployment in the country.
The fund will support job-creation activities for the youth through investment attraction, enterprise development and structured labour development and trade.
It is intended to address the challenges of youth-owned enterprises such as the inaccessibility to capital, lack of decent youth focused commercial infrastructure, barriers to marketing of youth products, and the lack of productivity.
The World Bank is ready to support the initiative with 65 million dollars to assist in engaging the youth in useful employment and enterprise development.
The Vice-President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, disclosed this in a speech read on his behalf at the launch of Exit Plans for the National Youth Employment Programme NYED in Accra, yesterday.
He said the fund was a key component of the overal plan of government to attract large scale investment and support youth enterprise, information communication technology, as well as housing and general infrastructure development towards the creation of about one million jobs immediately for the Ghanaian youth.
That, he said, would put Ghana in a better position towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goal on youth employment and development.
The Vice-President observed that more than 200,000 youth were added to the unemployment bracket every year in the country, including graduates from Senior High School level to the tertiary and post-graduate.
He said the system was not able to generate enough jobs to immediately satisfy the large demand for jobs, thus the NYEP collaboration with the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), in designing the Exit Plans for existing modules, would effectively transform these programmes from their transitory and temporary nature into more sustainable programmes that would ensure that many of the youth had access to jobs.
“The need for these exit plans cannot be overemphsised. The NYEP was criticised for exiting beneficiaries last year, though the programme was structured to give them only two-year participation,” he said, and was pleased that the current NYEP management had come up with exit plans to address the sustainability problems of the various modules and also initiated development plans highlighting various strategies geared towards creating employment opportunities for the youth.
He announced cabinet’s the decision to increase the allocation from communication Service Tax to the NYEP from the 20 per cent provided by the previous government, to 60 per cent and urged the management of the programme to continue to protect the interest of the youth.
The Minister of Youth and Sport, Akua Sena Dansua, said more than 100,000 youth had been provided jobs by the current administration, and noted that the exit plans for the 13 modules would not only ensure sustainability, but also increase access to employment for many youth.
“The exit plans provide a road map for the progress of the NYEP to deal with its challenges and serve as guidance for the way forward.”
The acting National Co-ordinator of the NYEP, Abuga Pele, said the exit plans would afford the youth the opportunity to gain permanent employment, particularly in areas of health, education and security.
He said the NYEP was also working with the exit plan partners to expose the youth to foreign labour markets.