During the usual Meet-the-People interview on Kyzz FM every Tuesday, Mr. Agyenim Boateng, the Monitoring and Evaluation officer of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) in Sekondi Takoradi, emphasized that the Agency was established to address the issue of unemployment in Ghana.
Their services even extend to those who have not received formal education.
These informal trainees are involved in various activities such as fumigation, mosquito spraying, street sweeping, and door-to-door services, following the Zoomlion model.
Currently, YEA operates five models, with particular emphasis on three models: Community Police Assistant (CPA), Community Health Worker (CHW), and Community Education Training Assistant (CETA).
Under Lawyer Justin Conduah's tenure in 2017, the youth were typically given two-year contracts.
The CHW concept was implemented during J.H. Kuffour's administration.
Under the leadership of Mr. Kofi Baah Agyapong, ten percent of youth from YEA are recruited into general nursing.
Additionally, a contract has been signed with the Ghana Police Service, allowing ten percent of registered youth from YEA to be enlisted.
Community Police Assistants are visible in almost all central police stations in Ghana. The CETA youth were engaged in teaching lower primary pupils, but unfortunately, the program has ended.
YEA is currently in talks with the Ghana Education Service to reactivate the CETA project.
YEA also provides assistance to the blind in finding jobs.
The Youth Paid Internship (YPI) is a graduate employment program that seeks to absorb graduates into the Postal Sector.
YEA is an all-encompassing agency committed to reducing unemployment in the country.
The Prisons sector is also engaging some of these community youth, particularly those who have completed training at Ankaful in the Central Region.
All 1,500 youth involved will be absorbed into the Prison Service after two years.
Mr. Agyenim Boateng was not aware of the exact youth population in Ghana but stated that 84,000 youth had been engaged so far.
Currently, 15,000 youth are engaged in the three emphasized models.
Some road contractors in the Greater Accra Region have also begun employing YEA youth in their projects.
The cocoa sector is also benefiting from the YEA schemes.
The monitoring and evaluation department is responsible for evaluating the productivity of the youth under various models.
In some instances, the evaluators visit the youth three times a day to ensure they are present at their assigned posts.
Feedback is obtained from the institutions through timesheets, which contain multiple columns and rows to be filled, including information about conduct and attitude towards work.
The time sheets are reviewed before allowances are paid.
As YEA falls under the Ministry of Labor, allowances are paid by the Ministry of Finance.
As of the press time on July 4, 2023, the June allowance had not yet been disbursed.
A YEA youth can receive an allowance for at least six years.
Any community youth who complains about the Agency is likely to have been found ineligible for payment.
Agyenim Boateng cautioned the youth against exclusively pursuing white-collar jobs.
He also made known that the YEA portal is open for the youth to submit their credentials for future placements.
For cottage industries to thrive, he opined that the private sector should avoid politics, build partnerships and synergy, work hard, and provide fair wages to their employees.
The government should also create an enabling business environment to increase productivity and reduce unemployment.