MOYS admits youth unemployment as biggest challenge

…touts initiatives to curb situation

Though government recognizes the youth as the country’s major source of human capital to execute her transformational agenda, the major challenge confronting it is the lack of employment opportunities for the young people, Youth and Sports Minister, Isaac Kwame Asiamah has said.

He observed that the current unemployment rate, estimated at 11.9 percent in the latest Labour Force Survey Report, is a threat to the country’s security and democracy.

Asiamah,  explaining at the ‘Meet the Press’ series which hosted the Ministry of Youth and Sports, said government is doing all it can, to empower the youth and employ their skills and talents for a sustained growth of the economy, while involving them in decision making processes at all levels.

“Accordingly, we have rolled out the following projects and programmes in 2017 to provide some solutions to the situation; Step Towards Employment and Productivity (STEP), Digital Marketing and Entrepreneurship Training, Construction of Youth Resource Centres, Refurbishing of Youth Leadership and Skills Training Institutes, Promotion of the Spirit of Volunteerism among the Youth, African Union Youth Volunteer Corps Pre-Deployment Training Programme in Ghana, establishment of a secretariat in Ghana for the Commonwealth Alliance of Young Entrepreneurs, participation in international programmes and fulfillment of international obligations and, review of the national youth policy to make it more responsive to current local and International trends.

Touching on youth leadership and development, Asiamah explained that the National Youth Authority, NYA, has 11 youth leadership and skills training institutes across the country.

He however indicated that over the years, the institutes have suffered from neglect and are almost on the verge of collapse.

“The eleven institutes were in arrears of seven terms feeding grants which amounted to GHS1.9 million. I am happy to inform you that, in 2017, the Ministry paid in full the seven terms feeding grant arrears.

Currently, six construction projects are ongoing in five of the Institutes,” he disclosed.

He said a 300-seating capacity multi-purpose hall with kitchen attached to each of the institutes at Sandema and Nalerigu in the Upper East and Northern Regions respectively are under construction, while a dormitory block each at the institutes in Ajumako Afranse (Central Region), Abura (Western Region), Takrowase (Eastern Region), Afienya (Greater Accra Region) and Sandema (Upper East Region) would be completed soon.

By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe