Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour, Tuesday, launched the operations of the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration to provide employment, migration and reintegration services to returnees, potential migrants and migrant workers in Ghana.
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development commissioned the Centre, which is jointly run by the Labour Ministry and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
The ceremony took place at the new location of the Centre along the Starlets 91 Road and next to the Labour Ministry.
Under a pilot scheme, the Centre is providing vocational training and start-up support to about 500 potential labour migrants to stop them from embarking on dangerous journeys.
It is also facilitating job creation opportunities and linking some jobseekers to employment sources.
To complement Centre, nine districts have been earmarked as labour offices for rebranding and given the requisite resources to make them functional to intensify their employment promotion activities, monitor activities of private employment agencies and provide advice to potential labour migrants.
Mr Baffour Awuah announced that some companies were interviewing about 300 jobseekers who attended the Centre's Job Fair in May this year.
The problems related to migration, he said, had been on the agenda of the Government and its stakeholders over the period.
"We have witnessed in the media cases of abuse, vulnerability and death suffered by those who migrate through unapproved routes," he said.
The International Community, therefore, developed a global compact expected to be implemented by the countries of origin and destination to ensure that irregular migration was controlled and reduced to safeguard the rights of migrants, particularly, migrant workers.
The focus, he said, was to put in place mechanisms that promoted the use of safe migration pathways and also protected the rights of labour migrants.
In Ghana, irregular migration is fuelled by poverty, inadequate decent job opportunities, relatively low incomes and the "been to" culture.
Mr Baffour Awuah said the GIZ would help operationalise the Ghana Labour Market Information System, which would become the main tool for information gathering and dissemination to the migrants, among others.
The Mr Christoph Retzlaff, the German Ambassador to Ghana, said relocating the German-Ghana Centre close to the Ministry signified that his country was keen to enhance its long lasting relationship with Ghana.
Ghana was one of the five leading irregular migrant-sending countries in Sub-Saharan African, he said, explaining that thousands of people had risked their lives going to Germany to escape economic hardships.
However, since most of them were not eligible for legal asylum in Germany or other European countries, they needed guidance on their options and support for reintegration, hence the Centre, which was helping Ghana to reduce especially, youth unemployment.
The Centre offers individual level counselling to returnees who need support with social and occupational reintegration.
The Centre, which was opened in April 2019 was originally housed in the GNAT Heights building in Accra.