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Gov’t Launches New Skills Development Programme

The government, through the Ministry of Finance has launched the training and retraining programme for workers in the private education, tourism and hospitality sectors of the country.

The programme falls within the component of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) under the GH¢100bn ‘Obaatan Pa’ Ghana Cares initiative designed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and return the economy to a sustainable path of growth.

The training and retraining programme will focus on preserving and upgrading the human capital and skills of the current cohort of workers in private education, tourism and hospitality sectors who lost their employment or are under-employed because of the pandemic.

It will thus focus on skills up-grading, work ethics productivity and attitudinal change through in-person and online courses nationwide on unis.mofep.gov.gh at no cost to the eligible beneficiaries.

Speaking at the launch of the programme in Accra yesterday, Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta said a major outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic was the unprecedented levels of unemployment and joblessness recorded.

“The COVID-19 impacted negatively on all sectors of the economy but more so, on the tourism and hospitality and private education sectors,” he said.

He thus indicated that the programme will help to preserve and upgrade the human capital of Ghanaian workers, particularly those that were affected by the pandemic and to facilitate their re-entry into productive employment at higher levels of performance.

“In meeting our obligations to workers and Ghanaians, we have and continue to implement programmes that seek to enhance the skills and welfare of workers,” he said.

Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, said re-skilling, training and retraining is essential to building and sustaining competencies for the changing labour market hence the government’s commitment to skills development and job creation.

He disclosed that the NUIS which is currently at the design stage is a social insurance scheme conceived primarily as a contributory scheme with defined benefit for the sole purpose of providing income support and re-employment service to workers who involuntarily become unemployed due to unexpected future events like COVID-19.

Project Coordinator, Dr. Kwabena Nyarko Otoo, said the programme was developed through extensive consultations between government and key stakeholders.

He further observed that the first phase of the programme will cover workers in the sectors that were mostly affected by the pandemic namely the private education sector and the tourism and hospitality sector.

“The second phase of the training and retraining programme will cover other sectors of the economy with emphasis on vocational and technical training,” he said.

The first phase of the programme is expected to be rolled out across the country from July 2022.

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