Minister charges new board to tackle youth unemployment

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Youth Employment Agency (YEA)
Youth Employment Agency (YEA)

Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations on Wednesday swore-in a nine-member Board of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) with the charge to tackle youth unemployment in the country.

He said if by the end of their tenure, Ghana’s unemployment rate had not improved, then they would have failed at their mandate.

“If today as at the time that you are taking office, the unemployment rate is 4.53 and the youth unemployment rate is 12 per cent, I would want to see that by the time you bring your stewardship to an end, you will bring it down considerably and that if for any reason by the time you end your tenure, the unemployment rate goes beyond what exists now then it means from day one, you have failed.

“If you look at the trend, we have had a very low unemployment rate over the past five years and it is something we have to work to sustain. If there is any group of persons to do that, then it must be you. Your measuring rod would be the unemployment rate and I trust that you will be able to deliver on your mandate,” he said.

The Minister noted that during the tenure of the previous Board, a number of programmes were initiated which were yet to be implemented.

He mentioned them as the ‘Work Abroad’ project aimed at locating opportunities outside the shores of the country with focus on some sectors, which required Ghanaian labor such as Education, Nursing and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).

He also noted the Artisanal Directorate as an existing programme, which sought to certify, register and enlist artisans for job opportunities in their localities.

The Minister said the programme also ensured trust and promoted easy access to qualified and well trained artisans.

He said the previous Board also set up the Job Centre, akin to the Ghana Labour Market Incubation System to serve as an interface for job seekers and employers.

Mr Baffour-Awuah urged the new Board to take up the aforementioned and more of the already existing initiatives to expand and implement them fully.

Dr Eric Yeboah, a Board Member, expressed appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and the sector Minister for entrusting them with the task and noted that even though previous Boards had done their best, especially amongst the youth, there was still more to be done.

He gave the assurance that the new Board would work as a team and bring on board varied experiences to improve the state of employment.

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