The Deputy CEO of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) incharge of operations, Alhaji Bashiru Ibrahim, has said the Business and Employment Assistance Programme (BEAP) will help reduce Ghana’s unemployment rate by giving lifeline for countless young individuals striving to carve out a promising future. According to him, the initiative seeks to address the financial strains faced by Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) during the tumultuous period of the COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing upon a Ghana Statistical Service survey revealing the hardships faced by businesses, including wage reductions and closures, BEAP emerges as a vital intervention to support these struggling enterprises. Addressing journalists in Tamale on Thursday 11th January 2024, Alhaji Bashiru said the BEAP aims to provide a lifeline to MSMEs, offering salary support of GHS 500 per recruited employee, with the employer supplementing the remainder. Targeting various establishments such as production entities, pharmacies, schools, and more, BEAP strives to alleviate the financial burden on these enterprises while bolstering employment opportunities for Ghana’s workforce, he added. Highlighting the programme’s ambitious goals, Alhaji Bashiru announced plans to support 10,000 companies, facilitating the employment of approximately 20,000 individuals. He reassured Ghanaians of the YEA’s sustainable funding from the Communication Service Tax, emphasising the agency’s unwavering commitment to directing these funds solely towards job creation.
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He extended appreciation to the government for its endorsement and support, ensuring the programme’s successful launch and initiation. According to him the agency has been instrumental in partnering with state agencies, offering skills training, and fostering employment opportunities. Despite the admitted global economic challenges, he said: “We have been working hard to reduce the rate of unemployment and lessen the burdens of life on young people whiles affording them the opportunity to make ends meet. He urged employers and job seekers in the country to contact YEA job centres or visit for the available opportunities. He mentioned that the primary objectives of the programme is to facilitate job retention, youth employment, SME sustainability and Economic resilience in the country. Touching on the success story of the agency, Alhaji Bashiru said in 2022/2023, the government of Ghana through YEA recruited: • 15,000 Community Protection Assistants working with the Ghana Police Service. • 6,000 Community Health Workers working with the Ghana Health Service, • 1,500 Prison Office Assistants working with the Ghana Prisons Service, • 4,000 workers on the Cocoa Rehabilitation Programme. • 5,000 Insurance Agents for the National Insurance Commission with base pay. • 13,000 direct jobs secured through the YEA Job Centre • 2,000 dressmaking trainees undergoing apprenticeship training with GHC500 monthly support. • over 30,000 entrepreneurs trained by both the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (NEIP) and the Ghana Library Board with support for set-ups, • 2,000 young people trained by the Accra Digital Centre in Basic and Advanced IT skills. • Currently, YEA is recruiting another 20,000 young people to be trained and set up in 10 different trade areas being – carpentry, masonry, plumbing, hairdressing, beauty care, auto works, General Electricals, Plaster of Paris (POP), Steel Works, Welding and Fabrication and Painting. All arrangements have been made for training to start next week. • 45,000 Sanitation Module beneficiaries • financial support to over 500 dress makers and 40 large garment companies He noted that the YEA initiatives has impacted community services, health, entrepreneurship, and vocational training, experienced substantial growth, offering a beacon of hope for Ghanaian youth seeking stable employment and entrepreneurial ventures. Chief Nurudeen, Tamale Metro NASPA President aspirant who has been appealing for jobs for the youth commended management of YEA for the BEAM programme, and however urged the youth especially National Service personnel to advantage.