The National Service Scheme (NSS) is to be made an ‘employable agency’ to enable the scheme to prepare its personnel to establish their own businesses, the Executive Director of the NSS, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, has said.
In that regard, he said, the scheme had rolled out more innovative programmes to create job opportunities for personnel after their one-year mandatory service.
Among the new modules introduced by the NSS are pathways to sustainable employment (PaSE), the Ghana tech lab (GTL), which is currently training 600 service persons in mobile apps and website building skills; a venture building programme being undertaken by the NSS and the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) to groom 91 service persons with entrepreneurship skills throughout the service year, and an NSS-Ghana Export Promotion Authority programme which is training 63 service persons in entrepreneurship and other skills required to create products and services which can be exported.
Mr Antwi said this at this year’s La Dade-Kotopon municipality National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) elections and orientation at the Burma Camp in the Greater Accra Region last Friday.
Other modules include the NSS-Ghana Enterprises Agency training programme for persons in entrepreneurship, a Stanbic graduate transition support programme (GTSP) which is providing a sustainable financial support system for service persons in the areas of financial literacy and business development, the NSS-Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA) programme which currently deploys 677 service persons to support the development of tourism in the country, a youth in greenhouse enterprise project which is training service persons in agri-business and an NSS construction and housing project aimed at empowering service personnel to embark on their own construction business.
Mr Antwi further explained that the new focus of the NSS emanated from statistics that showed a rather staggering number of people adding to the unemployed numbers each year.
“Per our records, only 24 per cent of national service personnel find reliable jobs, while a whole 76 per cent end up jobless after service,” he said.
According to him, the new initiatives, which were running on a pilot bases, would be improved to engage more people by the beginning of the next service year.
“For example, the PaSE project, which is currently training 600 service persons in the development of mobile applications and websites, will be expanded to train 20,000 people by the beginning of the next service year,” the director added.
According to him, the programmes were created on the back of careful and in-depth research on current industry demands that required skills set to propel growth and optimum income.
“All these programmes have been introduced to solve problems; we didn’t just create them; we did research, found the problems and we are providing the solutions,” he said.
Mr Antwi further urged service personnel to exhibit good traits in order to uphold the name of the scheme.