ALL over the world employment opportunities are dwindling, with many secure jobs now being outsourced as contract work.
This situation has aggravated the unemployment situation, as many graduates are unable to find permanent jobs or even part-time work.
The antidote to this growing problem is for graduates to think outside the box and possibly create opportunities for others.
Thus, when the government launched the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) to initially engage 100,000 graduates from our tertiary institutions in various modules to keep them engaged for a period before they transit to the real world of work, the move was applauded.
For, apart from providing temporary job relief for the numerous unemployed graduates, it will also serve as a learning curve for the beneficiaries to appreciate job application processes and skills development and enhance their capacity not only to seek permanent jobs but also create jobs on their own.
As is to be expected, the initiative was met with various criticisms, even before it took off, but scheme managers weathered the storm and came through successfully, amidst delays by some of the trainees before starting their programmes.
Those challenges are expected and we hope that with time NaBCo will be established as a well-structured system that will help build a competent human resource for the development of the country.
It will also address the issue of gaps between academia and industry.
The release of the first tranche of GHc67.1 million for the payment of the first stipends for the beneficiaries is good news.
The Daily Graphic, however, wishes to caution the managers and their partners, the Ghana Interbank and Settlement Systems (GhIPSS), to put in stringent measures to block all the loopholes that will enable some of the beneficiaries and their managers at the national, regional and district levels to ‘steal’ state funds, to the detriment of the scheme.
We state this against the background that there have been financial scandals in the past through electronic payment systems and we think that such a laudable national initiative should not be tainted with any scandal.
Ghanaians have been witnesses to user agencies and other organisations that have connived with beneficiaries of similar programmes to milk the nation, leading to those organisations becoming ineffective and incapable of carrying out their mandates fully.
The effects of unemployment on the economy are severe and the attendant loss of income associated with unemployment results in lower living standards and low spending, leading to a decline in the profits of local businesses, which may in turn lead to bankruptcy of those businesses and more unemployment.
The Daily Graphic, therefore, recommends that tough monitoring mechanisms be put in place to ensure the success of the scheme.