NYEA to introduce work abroad for unemployed professionals

The National Youth Employment Agency (NYEA) is set to roll out a programme that will recruit thousands of youth to work outside the country.

To be known as the Work Abroad Programme, it seeks to export Ghanaian labour outside the country.

The Executive Director of the agency, Justin Kodua Frimpong, who announced the programme said the country had the potential to meet the labour requirement of other countries in need of human resources.

It will enable the export of young professionals such as nurses and teachers to other countries in demand of such professionals.

He was speaking at programme dubbed Nation Building Updates aimed at apprising the country with information on the government’s development projects, achievements and plans.

The Philippines example

With the Philippines reported to earn more than $12 billion annually in labour exports, Mr Kodua said there were opportunities that the country could tap into to reduce unemployment.

According to CNN, more than 17% of registered nurses in California are Filipino, a 2017 report found. And in the UK, a 2019 government report found there are more than 18,000 Filipinos working in the National Health Service.

With COVID-19 biting hard on Western healthcare systems, the demand is even higher.

But the Filipino government afraid of losing its doctors to brain drain is enforcing a ban on migrating health professionals.

The Philippines has banned medical staff from working in other countries, sparking tensions as the island nation struggles to battle the coronavirus.

The order, signed by the Labour Secretary on April 2, prohibits physicians, nurses, medical technicians and other medical staff from working abroad while the country remains under a state of emergency.

The order says the Philippines sends 13,000 medical workers abroad every year — yet faces a shortage of 290,000 health workers at home.

It is this void that Mr Kodua believed Ghana could fill as it seeks jobs for thousands of unemployed professionals abroad.

Ghanaian nurses in Barbados

Ghana in August this year sent a 95-member contingent on a two-year-assignment in Barbados to augment the country’s nursing workforce.

Their specialities include paediatrics, ophthalmology, surgical intensive care, and accident, and emergency.

The Foreign Minister of Ghana and Barbados, on behalf of the governments of their respective countries, in November 2019  signed an agreement for the recruitment of a total of 120 nurses from Ghana to complement the staffing needs of the island nation.
The two countries signed the agreement when the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, paid a courtesy call on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as part of her official visit to Ghana.

The objective of the agreement is to provide the framework for the provision of the nurses by Ghana to Barbados, taking cognisance of the existing commitment of Barbados to accept international workforce policies and practices as well as the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of Ethics for nurses.

The terms of services and responsibilities include Ghana providing registered nurses to Barbados with a level of expertise as agreed to by both countries, with Barbados providing Ghanaian nurses safe and secure working conditions for professional practice, medical treatment where needed.

Remuneration is commensurate with the terms and conditions of Barbadian local registered nurses. Barbados is also to provide professional support to Ghanaian nurses to comply with the guidelines and rules of the Nursing Council of Barbados.

Skills programme. 

Mr Kodua also said the agency had set up a skills centre to support artisans and young people going into agriculture.

The project would help deal challenges including lack of access to land, farm input and ready market.


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