The first phase of a process by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to recruit 15,000 young men and women as community protection assistants (CPAs), also known as Community Police, has ended.
The two-day nationwide exercise, which took place last Wednesday and yesterday, saw applicants undergoing physical examination at YEA offices in the various metropolises, municipalities and districts.
The body selection forms part of a process to shortlist the first batch of 5,000 applicants into the module.
The recruitment of 15,000 unemployed Ghanaian youth nationwide as CPAs is under a working collaboration with the Ghana Police Service.
This is in pursuance of the YEA’s mandate to create jobs for the unemployed youth of the country and also to augment the work of the Police Service in preventive and social community policing across the country.
The Daily Graphic team went round to observe how the exercise was being carried out on both days.
On the opening day, it observed that some of the offices did not undertake the exercise, explaining that since it was over two days, they would have their turn on the second day.
Some of the YEA offices the Daily Graphic visited were those in the Weija-Gbawe, Okaikwei North, Klottey Korle, Ayawaso West Wuogon, Ayawaso Central and Ayawaso North municipalities.
At all those places, police personnel had been deployed to maintain order for a smooth, incident-free exercise.
The exercise was akin to any screening exercise for recruitment into the security services, and among the documents checked were applicants’ certificates and Ghana cards.
Apart from the physical screening, the applicants were also asked some questions, such as the regional capitals, their assemblies, who their assembly members, municipal or district chief executives and Members of Parliament were.
At the Okaikwei North Yea Office, the examining officer, Warrant Officer One (WO1) Alexander Yeboah, said the applicants were asked some basic questions to test their alertness, in addition to their physical condition.
In the same office, the YEA Coordinator, Oliver Ofori-Baah, said 230 applicants were expected to go through the exercise. At the time of the visit, about 60 had gone through the process.
Inspector Raphael Agbesi of the Tesano Police Divisional Command (Operations) told the Daily Graphic that the police were there to ensure law and order.
The exercise had been smooth as of the time of the Daily Graphic’s visit, he said.
In Weija-Gbawe, the YEA Coordinator, Robert Nii Armah Tagoe, said the office was able to screen 55 out of 100 applicants on the first day.
He said various documents, including certificates, were checked before the commencement of the physical examination of applicants.
Fifty applicants went through the process in Ayawaso North.
The Ayawaso West Wuogon YEA Coordinator, Emmanuel Nartey, said: “We expect 78 applicants to go through the process.”
For his part, the Korle Klottey YEA Coordinator, Oninku Nii Ablade, said 116 applicants were expected to go through the process.
During the tour, the Daily Graphic met the Chief Executive Officer of the YEA, Kofi Baah Agyepong, at one of the centres.
Accompanied by some members of his management team, he was touring some of the examination centres.
He explained that the exercise was an opportune time for the youth to be recruited as beneficiaries of the YEA.
He said his commitment was to ensure that most beneficiaries with the requisite certification, skills and knowledge would be drafted into the mainstream police service during their enlistment.
"You are undergoing screening for body selection and physical examination as part of the eligibility criteria for the recruitment exercise because we want to ensure that those of you who will perform will be absorbed into the Ghana Police Service as the official quota of the agency," he told the potential beneficiaries.
Stop gap measure
Mr Agyepong, who is championing an agenda to make the agency the base of employment for all sectors of the economy, said empowering young people through the creation of stop-gap measures, the promotion of skills training and entrepreneurship was a major means of reducing unemployment, while ensuring economic growth.
He assured the beneficiaries of the consistent flow of their stipends at the end of the month and a possible increase in the stipends.
After the screening exercise, 5,000 applicants will be selected to go through the next phase of the recruitment process.
Two other exercises will be held on a later date to recruit 10,000 more to make up the targeted 15,000.
The successful applicants in the first phase which has just ended will undergo a mandatory three-week intensive training by the Ghana Police Service at the various police training colleges across the country.
The recruitment of the 15,000 CPAs is coming on the heels of the passing out of 6,000 youth under the Community Health Workers (CHW) module a fortnight ago.
For Mr Agyepong, the creation of sustainable programmes and jobs topped his agenda as CEO of the YEA and especially in this period of economic hardships.
It is his vision to reduce the burden of Ghanaians by creating a lot of jobs and solidify the President’s one million jobs agenda.
He also hopes to collaborate more effectively with the private sector in pursuit of making the YEA the pivot of job creation in Ghana.