The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has so far employed 62,825 people as part of measures by the government to address the unemployment situation in the country.
Although the figure falls below the 100,000 target set by the agency for 2016, efforts are being made to meet the mark before the close of the year.
At a press briefing in Accra yesterday, the Chief Executive Officer of the YEA, Mr Kobina Obu Beecham Jnr, gave the breakdown of the number of people recruited, trained and deployed this year as: 4,832 community police assistants, 20,603 community teachers, 19,500 community health workers and 2,000 fire service assistants.
The rest are 2,000 prison service assistants, 1,000 e-health workers 2,500 environmental protection officers, 5,000 Arabic teachers, 5,000 youth in coastal sanitation, 200 marine engineering technicians and 190 youth on paid industrial attachment.
The YEA was established under the Youth Employment Agency Act 2015 (Act 887) to oversee the development, coordination, supervision and facilitation of employment for people between the ages of 15 and 35.
Beneficiaries are usually employed for two years after they have been taken through some training.
Before the year ends, Mr Beecham said, the YEA would partner the Chamber of Commerce to employ an additional 10,000 people as health safety officers and collaborate with the National Youth Authority (NYA) to engage 3,000 people as Android application developers.
According to him, a new module on road safety had been developed, in partnership with the National Road Safety Commission, to recruit 1,000 road safety assistants, while another 7,000 people would work as cooperative officers to encourage the youth to form cooperative associations.
He said 4,500 head porters, popularly referred to as ‘Kayayei’, would be trained and employed as garment manufacturers under a new module which would be rolled out soon, while 2,000 youth would be engaged under the youth in green Ghana project, an initiative between the agency and the Department Parks and Gardens of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
To scale up Ghana’s industrialisation drive, Mr Beecham said, 350 master craftsmen had been identified and registered at the Suame Magazine in Kumasi to be trained in auto electrical, welding and other technical skills.
“Youth unemployment is a major challenge the world over. I, therefore, encourage all unemployed youth to register through our online platform for possible engagement,” he indicated.
He said the agency conformed with the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO’s) set standards on employment to ensure that all beneficiaries worked in a decent and safe environment, had equal employment opportunities and treatment and also received adequate earnings while they engaged in productive work.
He said the exit plan for beneficiaries included the offer of some funds to enable them to take up entrepreneurial ventures based on the skills they had acquired during the two-year period of engagement.
Later, the Head of the Disability and Gender Unit of the YEA, Mr Jacob Atule Adongo, who is visually impaired, said the agency was the second institution, after the Ghana Education Service, to employ a large number of persons with disabilities (PWDs).
He said so far 633 PWDs had been recruited, trained and deployed under various models and were working throughout the country, while an additional 21 were working with the YEA.
Mr Adongo said the agency had also developed a module to take PWDs off the streets.
“We will take them off the streets, train them, give them the skills and financial support to engage in entrepreneurial ventures. We want to end that exclusion,” he said.