The government has officially announced its ‘one million jobs’ initiative, which was recently hinted at by the President, Nana Akufo-Addo.
Presenting the 2021 mid-year budget review in Parliament today, Thursday, July 29, 2021, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta said this intervention is a deliberate move by the government to empower the youth in order to ensure economic growth.
“Mr. Speaker, our intention of building an entrepreneurial nation is already known. We aim to empower our youth to be at ease and venture into business. The clean-up of the financial sector and the invigoration of the entrepreneurial ecosystem is expected to help remove the binding constraints of financing and market linkage for our daring youth. Our focus will remain on establishing a strong value system for entrepreneurship to flourish.”
“Mr. Speaker, recognising that more needs to be done, the government is today announcing a “One Million jobs initiative” to aggressively respond to the needs of the country. This is to promote growth in SMEs, support new ventures, and stimulate innovation and start-ups.”
He also noted that the government, as part of its recovery programme and transformation agenda, is easing the constraints on the private sector to enable them to expand and provide jobs for the youth.
“At the strategic level, our comprehensive and holistic response to the employment and jobs issue remains anchored on the private sector.”
The Finance Minister also said the government is strengthening the links between education and stakeholders in the job market to address the issue of the persistent skill gap among the youth.
“We are also revitalising the skills development initiatives under the Ghana Enterprises Agency, NEIP, YEA and COTVET. We are feverishly working on a new scheme that enables the private sector to train new recruits or entrants at a subsidised rate by the government,” he added.
The financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic led to some workers losing their jobs, while others were forced to take salary cuts.
A survey by the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on the impact of COVID-19 on employment showed that 40 percent of workers experienced pay cuts between March and June 2020.
President Akufo-Addo hinted at the announcement of the ‘One million jobs’ initiative during his Eid message, as part of this year’s Eid-ul-Adha celebrations at the National mosque on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
The jobs, according to the President, will come under the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalization of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) programme and will be created over a three-year period.