Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has hinted at the introduction of a new programme aimed at addressing the unemployment challenge facing the country.
Reading the 2022 budget dubbed the ‘Agyenkwa Budget,’ in Parliament, on Wednesday, the Finance Minister indicated that government will create 1 million jobs through a programme dubbed “YouStart.”
According to him, “YouStart” is a vehicle for providing young entrepreneurs access to capital, training, technical skills, and mentoring to enable them operate their own businesses.
“The understanding of the youth employment challenge, as well as extensive consultations with stakeholders, including youth associations and 24 educational institutions across the country, have led to the development of the ‘YouStart’ initiative which proposes to use GH¢1billion each year to catalyze an ecosystem to create 1 million jobs and in partnership with the Finance Institutions and Development Partners, raises another 2 Billion Cedis,” he said.
“In addition to this, local Banks have agreed to a package that will result in increasing their SME portfolio up to GH₵5billion over the next 3 years. This, Mr. Speaker, results in an unprecedented historic GH₵10billion commitment to the private sector and ‘YouStart’ over the next 3 years,” he added.
This comes at a time when calls for government to create more jobs for the youth has heightened.
He indicated that though initiatives such as NABCO which has provided employment to 100,000 youth, the YEA which has 80,538 beneficiaries, the Afforestation 44,682 youth engaged, and the National Alternative Employment and Livelihood Programme (NAELP) have all been introduced, unemployment remains a challenge.
Hence, the introduction of this initiative.