Approximately GH¢2.2 billion was invested in the National Builder’s Corps (NABCo) programme, the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has disclosed, as the initiative comes to an end on September 1, this year.
Delivering the Mid-year budget review in parliament on Monday, he said 100,000 young graduates were engaged on the various modules of the initiative with thousands of them prepared for the world of work.
He has, therefore, encouraged the current cohort on the programme to take advantage of the YouStart initiative and other existing programmes as it was the country’s drive to build an entrepreneurial nation.
The NABCo programme was launched in 2018 to address graduate unemployment to solve social problems and solve public service delivery in health, education, agriculture, technology, governance and other sectors.
Implemented for four years graduates were trained, equipped with work tools and deployed nationwide to engage in the modules: Educate Ghana, Heal Ghana, Feed Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Digitize Ghana, Civic Ghana and Enterprise Ghana.
YouStart is a vehicle through which Government intends to provide funding and technical support to youth and youth-led businesses who fall within this category to assist them start, build and grow their own businesses.
It forms part of the GH¢100 billion Ghana Cares “ObaatanPa” programme which was launched by the government in November 2020 to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to MrOfori-Atta, the YouStartprogramme, launched in March this year on a pilot basis would be a great opportunity for beneficiaries of NABCo who had got permanent employment.
“The YouStart programme would support young entrepreneurs to gain access to capital, training, technical skills and mentoring to enable them to launch and operate their own businesses and pave way for a fundamental intervention to advancing an entrepreneurial nation to create jobs.
“Government’s policy is to support dynamic young entrepreneurs’ access training and funds to build their businesses and become a significant pool of job providers for their fellow young people,” he said.
According to Mr Ofori-Atta, over 70 participants across the country underwent training to equip them with the requisite skills in entrepreneurship, financial management, good corporate governance, marketing and customer service.
He said GH¢ 1.98 million was disbursed under the pilot to 46 individuals and 8 Associations based on specific needs to enable them to scale up their businesses and contribute to the job creation agenda of the government.
Mr Ofori-Atta added that developing the youth and sporting infrastructure remained a key objective of government, to empower the youth as those training would be supported under the YouStartprogramme.
“We are implementing Phase II of Skills Towards Employment Productivity (STEP) to train about 1,500 youth in six modules thus, Transport, App Development, Satellite Installation, Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Dress Making,” he noted.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR & ANITA ANKRAH