YEA employs 282 former tollbooth workers and PWDs

The Youth Employment Agency (YEA) has launched a ground-breaking employment drive employing 282 former tollbooth workers, mostly persons with disabilities (PWDs), who lost their jobs as a result of the suspension of road toll collection in Ghana.

This action is component of YEA’s larger initiative to promote empowerment and diversity in the workplace.

Speaking at a press conference held at the agency’s head office in Accra on Thursday, the YEA CEO, Kofi Agyepong, stressed the agency’s critical role in providing job opportunities for young Ghanaians in the face of economic uncertainties.

He emphasized the particular difficulties that former tollbooth employees encountered once the government decided to stop collecting road tolls, which resulted in hundreds of people losing their jobs.

“While this decision elicited widespread enthusiasm, we must acknowledge its consequential impact on a segment of our society that found itself in a precarious situation. Specifically, over 200 persons with disabilities (PWDs) experienced a loss of livelihood as a direct result of this policy shift. These individuals, previously employed as breadwinners for their families, were now faced with unemployment and its accompanying hardships,” he said.

“Rather than lamenting the circumstances, we viewed this as an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to effecting positive change,” he said.

These individuals have been strategically placed in roles such as Regional Disability Desk Officers and District Disability Desk Officers, spanning all regions and 266 operational districts of the agency.

“This brings me immense joy,” Agyepong said, adding that “this employment affords them not only a sense of pride and financial stability but also positions of influence where they can contribute meaningfully to policy formulation and implementation concerning disability rights.”

In addition to addressing the immediate needs of former tollbooth workers, YEA has developed alternative pathways through impactful programmes such as the Business and Employment Assistance Programme (BEAP), Youth in Skills training, and the Garment and Textile Training Initiative under the Garment and Textile module, ensuring equitable opportunities for all individuals.

According to him, the agency ensured the welfare and social security of its newly employed PWDs, guaranteeing them equitable treatment and access to the same benefits enjoyed by other government employees.

He expressed profound gratitude to all partners and collaborators, including the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, the Ministry of Roads and Transport, the Ghana Federation of Disability Organizations (GFD), and the Centre for Employment of Persons with Disabilities (CEPD), who contributed to the success of this initiative, reaffirming the YEA’s unwavering commitment to championing the rights and dignity of persons with disabilities in Ghana.

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