Government has launched the Training and Retraining component of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) to upgrade the skills of 15,000 Ghanaians with employable skills and facilitate their re-entry into productive sectors of the economy.
The scheme, under the Ghana Cares ‘Obaatanpa’ programme, is to serve as a mitigating measure for unexpected future events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, that may disrupt employment in the country.
The programme will be implemented in two phases. The first phase of the Programme will see workers in the Private Education Sector and the Tourism and Hospitality Sectors, receive skills to meet the demands of the labour market as the economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The second phase of the Training and Retraining Programme will cover other sectors of the economy with emphasis on vocational and technical training.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme, Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta reiterated government’s commitment to implement programmes that seek to enhance the skills and welfare of workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In meeting our obligations to workers and Ghanaians in general, we have and continue to implement programmes that seek to enhance the skills and welfare of workers. We are ensuring skills development that meet the demands of the Ghanaian labour market and promotes decent work.
I believe you would all agree with me that our government’s resolve to invest in the people of Ghana, particularly the youth has been adequately matched with the implementation of programmes that ensures strategic workforce development including interventions to enhance employability and improve productivity,” he said.
Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffuour Awuah noted that the tourism and educational sectors were the most affected by the COVID-19, thus the need to train them first.
“The sectors chosen for now have been mostly affected and looking at the number involved and impact, it is just understandable that we begin with them, so that we can expand the scope subsequently” he noted.
Government announced in the 2020 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review the establishment of a National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) which is to offer income support to workers who become unemployed due to external factors like COVID-19.
The NUIS which is a social insurance scheme is conceived primarily as a contributory scheme with defined benefit for the sole purpose of providing income support and re-employment services to workers who involuntarily become unemployed due to unexpected future events such as COVID-19 pandemic and meet specified eligibility criteria.
The NUIS is housed under the Ghs100 billion “Obaatan Pa” GhanaCARES Programme designed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, return the economy to a sustained path of robust growth and create a more resilient and transformed economy.
Other stakeholders present at the launch include the Trades Union Congress, Ghana Employers Association, among others have given their blessings to the initiative.
Secretary General of the TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah, urged the Ministry to fast track the process which will ensure that other sectors of the economy that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are added onto the programme.