Accra, Monday 20th June, 2022 - Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has stated government’s plan to ensure smooth re-entry of current cohort of workers who lost their employment or were under-employed because of the COVID-19 pandemic into the labour market.
He said that, for the workers to gain the higher levels of productivity and performance, they needed to go through vocational, technical, and professional training and retraining.
Mr. Ofori-Atta made this known when he launched the Training and Retraining Programme Component of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) under the Ghana CARES Programme. The Programme is being piloted by the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Employment & Labour Relations in collaboration with the Social Partnership Council.
The Minister revealed that, “while Ghana largely avoided serious health ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, a major outcome of the pandemic was the unprecedented levels of unemployment and joblessness recorded”.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, as we are now well aware, the COVID-19 pandemic impacted negatively on all sectors of the economy but more so on the Tourism and Hospitality Sector and Private Education Sector” he added.
The NUIS which is currently in the design phase is a social insurance scheme 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 Training and Retraining Programme was developed through extensive consultations between government and key stakeholders comprising of representatives from Ministry Finance, Ministry of Employment & Labour Relations, Organized Labour, and Ghana Employers Association.
Other stakeholders include the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Ghana Education Service, Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA), Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET), Ghana National Association of Private Schools (GNAPS), Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS), Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), among others.
“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” he stressed.
He revealed that the Training and Retraining Programme will be executed in two phases, with the first focusing on workers in the sectors most hit by the epidemic, which included the Private Education Sector and the Tourism and Hospitality Sector.
The second phase, he stated would cover other sectors of the economy with emphasis on vocational and technical training. He further disclosed that government would fund the cost of the Programme and pay the fees of workers who enroll in the programme.
He reaffirmed the government's commitment to implementing the necessary programmes and policies that would have significant long-term advantages for Ghanaian workers, notwithstanding the difficult times the economy was experiencing because of global shocks and domestic changes.
On his part, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah disclosed that, the areas of hospitality and education were hardest hit by COVID-19 in terms of impact on the Labour market.
This he stated, was one of the many reasons why government decided to commence with interventions in those sectors and hinted that there were plans in place to expand the programme for other sectors to be roped in.
Dr. Patrick Nomo, Chairman of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme and Training and Retraining Programme Technical Committee and Chief Director of the Ministry of Finance, revealed that the team tasked with overseeing the programmes’ implementation had engaged relevant stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality and Private Education sectors.
He gave assurance that, the relevant course modules and all the other roll-out of the programme had been completed and reiterated the Minister for Finance’s comment that, the Training and Retraining programme was essential to building and sustaining competencies for the ever-changing labour market.
Present at the meeting were representative from Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Ghana Tourism Authority, Organized Labour, Ghana Employers Association, Ghana Association of Industries (AGI), Ghana Tourism Federation (GHATOF), Institute of Education, University of Cape Coast and Ghana National Council of Private Schools (GNACOPS)’
The rest are, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Hotel, Catering and Tourism Training Institute (HOTCATT), Koforidua Technical University, Tamale Technical University, Crystal Galaxy, Hospitality and Tourism Centre of Excellence (HTCE), and Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI). END