I’m committed to creating more practical, skilled jobs for youth – YEA CEO

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The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) Mr. Kofi Baah Agyepong has stated that it is his vision to make the One Million Jobs Agenda of His Excellency President Akufo-Addo an immediate reality, especially for the agency.

According to him, he seeks to practicalize employment modules of the Agency and most importantly to put high on his agenda skills training and acquisition for the young people of Ghana.

My Agyepong believes skills development for the youth is a great means of expanding job creation and engineering growth in all sectors of the economy.

Speaking at the opening of the 2022 Green Edition of the Job Fair at Eusbett Hotel in Sunyani in partnership with the GIZ, Ministry of Employment and others, Mr Agyepong stated that in addition to expanding the modules of the Youth Employment Agency, his new focus will include skill training and entrepreneurial development for the youth of Ghana. “I have been asking myself since I took over the Agency, if Tullow Ghana Limited asks me to supply them with 200 trained and certified electricians today, will I be able to provide them? If AngloGold Ashanti requests YEA to provide them with 500 trained and certified industrial machine engineers, will I be able to provide them? If the Ghana Water Company requests 100 trained and certified plumbers for employment today, can I provide them?”, Mr Agyepong queried.

Of particular interest to the Chief Executive officer is the loss of our informal sector to artisans from neighbouring countries especially Togo. He bemoaned the influx of foreigners especially from neigbouring countries into artisanal professions like plumbers, masons, P.O.P designers, painters and many more who are seen to deliver the best of services in terms of their finishing over the artisans from Ghana. The CEO, Mr. Agyepong intends to collaborate with Ghana TVET, NEIP, Ghana Enterprises Agency and all other stakeholders to create the best out of Artisans in Ghana with the focus of creating more employment whilst empowering them.

The sector Minister for Employment and labour Relations and Member of Parliament for Sunyani West, Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, elated with the vision of the YEA CEO in addition to expanding the modules, assured Mr. Agyepong and management of the Agency, his full support in the delivery of his mandate as CEO. The minister urged Mr. Kofi Agyepong to expedite the implementation of the Agency’s Artisan Directory, a skill development program that will build the capacity of artisans and craftsmen and train new ones in various crafts like carpentry, tiling, hairdressing, fashion design, plumbing etc. They will be put together in a common database where clients can easily access their services online. They will as well be monitored and supported till they become full-blown entrepreneurs on their own.

The Minister revealed that whereas other countries in the West African sub-region are paying compensations of about thirty-five percent of their national income, Ghana is doing around forty five percent which call for an urgent action to properly train and develop entrepreneurs and the private sector for the required economic growth. It is for this reason that he has been very interested in YEA GI job fairs that are primarily serving as meeting places for both employers and job seekers as well as training the job seekers in peculiar skill and on Green jobs. He stated that the NPP government in spite of its massive industrialization agenda is still pursuing serious national skills and entrepreneurial development through  the Youth Employment Agency, the YouStart program of the NEIP and Ghana Enterprise Agency, (GEA) and many other state and private institutions.

 

In her remarks, the Deputy Head of Development Cooperation at the German Embassy in Ghana, Ms. Ramona Simon, stated she was particularly happy to be a part of the program and to see that young job seekers and employers are finding a great opportunity together. According to her, it is trite knowledge that sustainable jobs are crucial for creating economic development and decent life perspectives for the young generation. Ms. Simon added that, “Ghana is one of the key partners for Germany in Africa with regular bilateral exchanges. Our two countries are strong trading partners, with strong diplomatic ties in many initiatives. The Ghanaian-German Centre, which is complementing the Ghana Government’s efforts at creating opportunities for young people, is an important part of this cooperation”

The GIZ Ghana Country Director Mrs. Bauerochse Barbosa speaking at the launch stated that despite investments and the roll out of initiatives in the labour market, there were still significant challenges in readily available jobs and requisite employable skills; however, GIZ through the Ghanaian-German Centre and its partners including the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations were steadfast in their commitment to make job promotion and skills enhancement a top priority to meet the needs of employers. Ms. Bauerochse urged job seekers not to despair but remain committed in their job search, sharing that every experience that they currently face contributes to preparing them for the right role.

BACKGROUND

Sunyani, 14 September 2022: The Ghana Job Fair 2022, Green Edition, opened today in Sunyani, Bono Region, on the theme: “Connecting talents and opportunities.” The job fair is organised by the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration, in partnership with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, among other partners.

Youth unemployment in Ghana has been described as the biggest threat to national security. This is because Ghana has a young population with 13-35 per cent between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the Ghana Statistical Service. With overall youth unemployment rate at 9.59 per cent, even more critical is the unemployment rate of 33 per cent among young adults (Ghana Statistical Service, 2021). This means, one out of every three young adults in Ghana, is unemployed.

The Ghana Job Fair is a flagship programme held annually to offer opportunities for job seekers to acquire the necessary skills and mindset for innovative and sustainable approaches; it seeks to build their employability in the fast-transforming employment space.

The Fair, described as “Green Edition” has an aim to promote sustainable jobs, also known as “green jobs” in Ghana and hinges on the core objectives of boosting eco-friendly and digital work, networking between jobseekers and industry and highlighting the Government of Ghana’s employment efforts to stakeholders from different regions of the country.

The Ghana Job Fair 2022 – Green Edition is a collaboration of the GIZ-implemented Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs and Reintegration (GGC), the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and its Labour Department, the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), and the Delegation for German Industry & Commerce in Ghana (AHK). The GGC is part of the global project “Programme Migration for Development” and is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Ghana Job Fair (Green Edition) is taking place concurrently in Accra, and Sunyani at the Accra International Conference Centre and the Eusbett Hotel Event Hall in Sunyani respectively, from 14-15 September 2022, and on the 26-27 September 2022 in Kumasi and Tamale. The fair will feature panel discussions on opportunities for job creation in the Green Economy, fireside chats with prominent entrepreneurs and stakeholders in the eco-friendly and digital workspace in Ghana. It will also hold Career Guidance and Green Entrepreneurship sessions.

This year’s edition of the Ghana Job Fair 2022 (Green Edition), seeks to inspire the youth across the country to consider green start-ups that transition to a more sustainable economy by developing sustainable and environmentally friendly entrepreneurial innovations into the labour market, creating wealth and sustainable job opportunities for others.

Source: Youth Employment Agency

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