The National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) is to be transformed into a permanent and better funded project to ensure its continuity and sustainability.
In that direction, its legal backing is being considered in order to establish an Act of Parliament for the Programme which would ensure the appointment of a Board of Directors.
Mr Abuga Pele, National Coordinator of the NYEP announced this at a meeting with District Employment Coordinators (DECs) of the programme in Tamale on Saturday to review activities of the programme for the year and draw up strategies for 2010-2012.
He said in line with the bill, which is at the consideration stage before Parliament, appropriate exit plans for career progression and professional development of the NYEP beneficiaries would be drawn while the youth would also be engaged in capacity building to facilitate their access to sustainable employment.
To ensure adequate funding and smooth implementation of the programme, Mr Pele said, the legislative instrument would create a NYEP Fund with executive instrument ensuring that funds were deducted at source as a short term measure.
Mr Pele said to reduce the pressure on the monthly payroll of the Programme, the NYEP would now focus on self employment modules that have the capacity to engage many youth and encourage youth entrepreneurship among the beneficiaries.
In pursuit of this, he said, Youth in Agric-Business, Youth-In-Mining, Youth-In-Afforestation and Youth-In-Construction would be given attention to ensure that the individual youth and the nation derived the maximum benefits from these modules and also make use of scarce resources.
He announced that a separate unit headed by a physically challenged person had been created to cater for the unemployment situation of the disabled to enable them gain sustainable employment.
The National Coordinator of the NYEP said the Programme had of late caught the attention of some international bodies and countries, some of which had expressed interest in replicating Ghana’s example in their system due to the pressure of youth unemployment in their own countries.
He added: “Ghana therefore has become a pacesetter and everything should be done to improve upon the Programme”.
Mr Pele said the NDC government would pursue objectives that would transform the NYEP into a more than a major job creation programme for the youth and transform the country into a middle income economy in the near future.