The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has exceeded its 2023 youth employment projection by 16 percent, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of YEA, Kofi Baah Agyepong, has said.
The Agency had projected engaging 71,500 youths throughout its programmes, and as of May 2023 the Agency has engaged 84,483 youths who are working and contributing to various sectors of the economy.
Speaking at the Youth Employment Agency’s Garment and Apparel Module’s launch in Kumasi, he said YEA has been guided by the president’s vision of sustainable job creation for the youth by ensuring a majority of them benefit from various programmes rolled out by the YEA.
To this end, he noted that the YEA has been able to recruit 6,000 Community Health Workers; 15,000 Community Protection Assistants; 1,500 Prisons Service Assistants; and 800 artisans for the INZAG project.
“We still have 45,000 beneficiaries of the youth in Sanitation Module; recruitment of 4,000 farm workers for the Afarinick Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme; recruitment of 6,000 insurance agents; and the creation of over 11,000 employment opportunities through the YEA’s Job Centre,” he said.
Mr. Agyepong also mentioned that the YEA has collaborated with other state institutions like the Building and Road Research Institute of the CSIR; Ghana Library Authority; Accra Digital Centre; National Labour Commission; and National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) to give Ghanaian youth training.
He explained that the Garment and Apparel Training and Employment Programme, under the Apparel and Textiles Module, is aimed at creating sustainable opportunities for young people interested in dressmaking or industrial sewing.
Beneficiaries of the training programme will be equipped with in-depth knowledge and hands-on training in various aspects of tailoring and dressmaking; including fabric selection, cutting techniques, sewing, garment construction, pattern-making and alterations.
The beneficiaries will be trained by big garment companies and micro/small-scale seamstresses and tailors.
YEA will support about 40 large garment companies with between GH₵100,000 and GH₵200,000 each.
“The Agency will also support 500 micro/small scale seamstresses and tailors with GH₵10,000 each to enable them train the beneficiaries. The beneficiaries will also be provided with monthly stipends throughout the period of their training,” he added.
According to him, YEA has surpassed its set targets and is poised to introduce other innovative ideas by creating an additional 31,600 job opportunities for the youth of Ghana in 2023. “But we cannot do this without additional funding.”
The Chief of Staff at the Office of The President, Madam Akosua Frema Osei-Opare – also speaking at the ceremony, said government remains committed to youth employment interventions via initiating policies aimed at providing skills, and are necessary for productivity-growth and sustained development.
She said the Free SHS policy, Free TVET intervention and numerous business support schemes available for youth start-ups and youth entrepreneurs across the country are key programmes government has introduced to make lives better.
She averred that the introduction of Competency-Based Training in TVET education, with the aim of improving TVET’s quality and relevance, is helping to meet the needs of industry players; hence, the YEA’s Garment and Apparel Module is a laudable initiative that plugs into government’s efforts at promoting the Technical and Vocational Sector as a viable means of employment.
“Under this module, 500 small-scale seamstresses and tailors – as well as 15 large-scale garment and apparel manufacturers, will benefit from financial support provided by the Agency to aid them scale up their operations,” she said.
The Chief of Staff admonished all master-craftsmen of the Garment and Apparel Module to demonstrate strong commitment by providing high-quality training to all beneficiaries – urging them to provide top-notch, high-quality technical skill transfers and an acceptable business culture for all beneficiaries to emulate.