The Ghana National Service Scheme (GNSS) will roll out a programme that will afford fresh graduates the opportunity to travel abroad for up to three months to work with a company.
The programme christened “National Service Global Practice Initiative” seeks to mould Ghanaian youth into globally-exposed youth leaders with universal experience, ideas and best practices to contribute to the development of their local communities.
The initiative, which form part of the Scheme’s strategic plan, will hopefully begin in the 2019/2020 national service postings, and offer opportunity to between 100 to 200 graduates.
Mr Mustapha Ussif, the Executive Director of GNSS, announced this in Accra at a National Youth Unemployment Dialogue on the theme: “Addressing Youth Unemployment in Ghana: Strategies for Sustainability and Inclusivity”.
“It is the expectation of the Scheme that the experiences and skills acquired from the countries they are sent to can be used in the development and improvement of various local communities in the country.”
Mr Ussif explained that the programme was necessary because the Scheme wanted to have a continuous supply of Ghanaian leaders who were adequately prepared to tackle local issues and deliver local solutions to build strong communities utilising global best practices.
It is estimated that about 50 per cent of graduates who leave Ghanaian Universities would not find jobs for two years after their national service and 20 per cent of these graduates would not find jobs after three years of completing their national service.
This, according to the Executive Director, was a concern for all to develop innovative ways to assuage the menace.
Mr Ussif said as a result of the phenomenon, government had initiated initiatives such as the Nation Builders Corps, Youth Employment Programme and Planting for Food and Jobs for the youths to exhibit their intellect and skills to vital sectors of the country’s economy.
The Scheme in the past six years has posted about 502,494 graduates to various public and private sector workplaces, averaging about 70,000 each year and posted over 106,000 in 2018.
The Scheme’s deployment is on the provisions of section (3) of Act 426, which directs the scheme to deploy personnel to undertake National Service duties in all sectors of the economy.
Touching on digitization, Mr Ussif said the entire National Service application had been digitised to improve efficiency and provided with large data to analyze and make realistic decisions for the scheme.
On measures to develop graduate entrepreneurs, the Executive Director, said the Scheme in September 2017 started piloting the National Service Entrepreneurship Model with 500 graduates.
The model provided support for graduates with entrepreneurial ideas and sound business plans to implement their ideas throughout the national service period and beyond.
He said the scheme would this year begin the piloting of its poultry entrepreneurship initiative by supporting 20 graduates with funding and in skills development through partners such as MASLOC and private sector entities to embark on poultry farm entrepreneurship. He explained that, the focus on poultry would reduce the importation of birds into the country, adding that the scheme expect that every farm can grow to create employment for 50 people who work within the poultry value chain. Mr Ussif announced that the Scheme have entered into a strategic partnership with Songhai Group to establish a training hub, where 10 service personnel were being trained and vetted by consultants on how to develop the next-generation digital tools. The mandate of the beneficiaries is to develop solutions to the many challenges of the country.
He stated that the partnership with the private sector would galvanize the Scheme’s ongoing efforts towards developing and empowering service personnel to create jobs and compete globally on the talent market. Some of the participants in an interview with the Ghana News Agency urged government to place more emphasis on vocational and technical education to drive the growth of the economy.
Others called for standardized school curriculum devoid of political influence and institute legal policies that would integrate Persons with Disability in employment opportunities without stigmatization and other forms of abuses.
The two-day dialogue was organized by Star Ghana Foundation in collaboration with the National Youth Authority, Youth Advocates Ghana, Civil Society Platform Ghana and Ghana Think.