The outgoing Minister of Employment and Labour Relations has said the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development programme has now been placed under the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations by the Office of the President.
The directive was conveyed to the Ministry through the Attorney General and Minister of Justice by the Office of the Chief of Staff.
The Minister stated that for the programme to be re-launched effectively and on a sustainable basis, some of the existing modules will need to be reviewed in line with the draft GYEEDA Bill which is presently before Cabinet. He emphasized that some new modules will be introduced to respond to the ever increasing youth unemployment challenge in the country.
In particular, he indicated the introduction of a youth in maritime labour module where trained youth would be offered an opportunity to benefit from enormous employment opportunities on ships outside the country.
For a successful implementation of the youth in maritime labour module, the Ministry intends to seek assistance from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) for training facilities so that youth beneficiaries may have first-hand practical experience to satisfy the market demands.
The module would therefore be addressing directly some of the perennial labour migration issues the Ministry has identified.
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is setting up a maritime labour unit within the Ministry to handle all issues dealing with maritime labour.
Initial work in that respect was undertaken a few years ago with UNDP support and a youth in maritime labour module under GYEEDA would complement that effort.
On private sector participation in running some of the modules of GYEEDA as part of the larger PPP policy of government, it was indicated that such collaboration would ensure sustainability of the programme as government does not always have the expertise or wherewithal to go it all alone.
It was also intimated that an intra-Ministerial Committee has been set up to critically examine the draft GYEEDA Bill to make it responsive to new and emerging youth employment challenges before the Bill is passed into law. The Committee will also review modules for consistency with the National Employment Policy which the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is about to finalize.
The outgoing Minister, Hon Nii Armah Ashietey concluded that the needed momentum for GYEEDA to be given a new lease of life will be built shortly by the Ministry for an effective re-launch of the programme.