President John Dramani Mahama has said the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), which replaced the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), has created some 93,000 jobs for Ghanaians, saying the agency is now better positioned to tackle the rising unemployment levels.
Evaluating the viability of the agency on Volta Star Radio in Ho on Thursday morning, as part of his ‘Accounting to the People Tour’ in that region, the President said the Agency has in less than a year created over 93,000 jobs.
“The skills development fund alone is estimated to have created 93,600 jobs. The Youth Employment Agency has just taken off this year; it used to be GYEEDA and we reformatted it, gave it legislation so it now has structure, it has all the instruments for accountability set up,” added.
President Mahama explained that the beneficiaries under the YEA programme would be enrolled into the programme for two years while receiving training in areas such as community security, health, aqua-culture among others.
He added that they will also be receiving allowances during the two year period while undergoing training.
“So I believe that the Youth Employment Agency is better situated now than GYEEDA was to be able to provide our young people with the skills. What they are doing is that they are taking the young people in for a two year period so for two years you are going to receive an allowance so while you are receiving that allowance you are learning a skill either in community security or a health component. Aside from that, we have started an initiative on aqua-culture; shrimp farming.
“…And let me say that with shrimp farming, we’ve moved from producing 3,000 tons of fish to currently almost 40,000 tons of fish. We are diversifying into coffee so there are a lot of things that we are doing to create opportunities for employment,” he added.
YEA gets legal backing
The Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA), which was a public initiative targeted at youth development after failing to live up to its purpose due to some shady deals and corruption scandals, was transformed into the Youth Employment Agency.
Parliament in February 2015 gave YEA a legal backing by passing the Youth Employment Agency Bill.
The Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu at the time, said the programme is expected to create employment for about 100,000 Ghanaian youth adding that government had injected an amount of GHc500 million into the programme.