The government will continue to implement programs to improve the skills of workers – Finance Minister

Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta, the Minister of Finance, said the government will continue to implement programs aimed at improving the skills and welfare of workers.

He said, “We provide skills development that meets the demands of the Ghanaian labor market and promotes decent work.”

Mr Ofori-Atta was speaking at the launch of the training and retraining program component of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) under the Ghana Cares “Obaatanpa” program in Accra.

The program aimed to preserve and improve the human capital and skills of the current cohort of workers, who have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. It aims to facilitate their reintegration into productive employment at higher levels of performance.

The program will be implemented in two phases, the first phase of the program will cover workers in the sectors most affected by the pandemic, namely the private education sector and the tourism and hospitality sector.

The second phase of the training and retraining program will cover other sectors of the economy with emphasis on vocational and technical training.

The training and refresher program focuses on skills development, work ethic, productivity and altitude change.

The Minister said that the Government’s determination to invest in the people of Ghana, especially the youth, has been accompanied by the implementation of programs that ensure the strategic development of the workforce, including interventions aimed at enhance employability and improve productivity.

He said that even in difficult times, when the economy was facing challenges largely due to global shocks and national developments, “we are prioritizing the program because we believe that the medium and long-term benefits are huge for improving the production of workers for the economy”.

Mr. Ofori-Atta said an implementation committee made up of government, trade union and employer representatives had been formed to ensure the effective implementation of the programme.

The minister said the program was developed through extensive consultations between the government and key stakeholders including representatives from the Department of Finance, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Others are Organized Labor and Ghana Employers Association and other stakeholders such as Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Education Service , Ghana Tourism Authority, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Council, National Association of Ghana Private Schools, Ghana National Council of Private Schools and Ghana Tourism Federation.

He said the government funds the cost of the training and retraining program by paying the fees of workers who enroll in the program.

Dr Patrick Nomo, chair of NUIS and the training and retraining programme, said reskilling, training and retraining were key to developing and maintaining skills for an ever-changing job market.

He said the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 has led to massive job losses and underemployment globally and nationally, which compelled the government to establish a NUIS with a training component and recycling to support workers, who find themselves involuntarily unemployed.

He said that the government, in collaboration with social partners, is partnering with credible service providers to roll out the first phase of the training and retraining program to eligible beneficiary workers in the tourism and hospitality and hospitality sector. private education sector.

Dr Nomo, who is also the Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, said they have made great strides towards implementing the scheme.

The team responsible for overseeing the implementation of the program has over the past year engaged relevant stakeholders in both sectors and the relevant course modules and all other program roll-out processes have been completed.

Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labor Relations, said that in future the government would expand the program to include more sectors.

“I believe that if we are able to implement this program successfully, unemployment will be a thing of the past,” he added.

Dr Yaw Baah, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, congratulated the government and the social partners for this initiative.