The National Service Scheme (NSS), has taken some innovative steps to help provide sustainable job opportunities for national service persons after completing their mandatory national service programme.
Over a period of one month, management of the scheme, led by the Executive Director, Mr. Osei Assibey-Antwi, has signed four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with private and public organizations to train and develop the competencies of national service persons in the areas of agriculture, information technology and the services industry.
Subsequently, the scheme has completed negotiations and signing of projects such as Cash-For-Work and Job Promotion, Pathways to Sustainable Employment (PaSE), Youth in GreenHouse Enterprise, and Venture Building Programme.
Again, the NSS is working to complete the negotiations on two more projects, which are the Stanbic Graduate Transition Support Programme (GTSP) and NSS Construction and Housing Project.
Per the modalities for operationalizing the agreements, the NSS persons will go through specific training programmes scheduled to prepare them for the work ahead of them.
Speaking at separate ceremonies to outdoor the initiatives, Mr. Assibey Antwi explained that national service persons would be taken through the training programmes to equip them with skills that would fit into the job market as well as empower them to develop innovative means to solve pressing issues in the various communities.
“I’ am optimistic that, when these projects are fully rolled out, we will witness national service personnel who will be competent enough to manage organizations and also create businesses that will enhance the communities’ development efforts” he said.
Mr. Assibey Antwi urged the organizations to take full advantage of the collaboration to build their workforce for a positive outcome.
“Through our commitment as a party to these collaborations, we will play our part by serving you with the required workforce and when they come, put them to proper use so they can drive the needed outcomes for your organization,” he added.
The NSS boss underscored the need for the national service persons posted to the various project groups to put in their maximum best in a bid to secure a job or build their way to become managers of their own organizations.
He reminded them that, “these are all new projects which provide a wide range of employment opportunities and will also give you the necessary skills to be able to create your own organizations to serve the needs of the good people of Ghana and therefore should work hard and to commit themselves”, he stressed.
About the initiatives
Cash-For-Work and Job Promotion Project
Touching on the Cash-For-Work and Job Promotion Project, Mr. Assibey Antwi explained that the NSS, with financial assistance from Ghana-German Centre (GIZ), would create opportunities for the youth to be trained in agribusiness and entrepreneurship and to provide them with start-up kit that would make them establish businesses after the training.
The Stanbic Graduate Transition Support Program (GTSP)
Regarding the GTSP, he said the initiative was spearheaded by Stanbic Bank to provide a sustainable support system to national service persons in the areas of financial literacy and business development by granting them access to consumer financing up to 2, 500.00 within the 12 months of national service.
“The initiative which is seeking to train and support national service persons with training programmes and financial support, will also grant the service persons with an advance allowance of up to 40 per cent of their monthly allowance at a competitive rate and allow them to participate in a training programme known as surviving after school seminar,” he said.
Pathways to Sustainable Employment (PaSE) Project
For the PaSE project, he said the initiative was being rolled out in conjunction with Ghana Tech Lab (GTL) to equip more than 20,000 young graduates with the relevant skills to be able to create their own companies, provide employment as well as offer lasting solutions to societal challenges.
Mr. Assibey Antwi added that the Graduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track (EI Track) would take service persons through the development of mobile applications to create a pool of start-up entrepreneurs ready for business incubation and acceleration.
He noted that the project would begin with a pilot cohort of 400 service persons who would be trained to develop mobile apps.
He observed that when rolled out, the project was expected to help scale up the medium and small- scale enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.
Youth in Greenhouse Enterprise Project
The NSS Executive Director also said the Youth in Greenhouse Enterprise project was being implemented in collaboration with Agri-Impact Consult (AIC) to train service persons with greenhouse vegetable production and management.
He said the AIC would, as part of the agreement, help enhance the commercialization of the NSS farms through capacity development and facilitating special off-taker agreements.
The project, he said, was targeted at equipping more than 50 graduates with greenhouse management skills to be able to create jobs in the agribusiness sector annually.
Venture Building Program
According to him, the Venture Building Programme was a partnership between NSS and the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and Innohub.
As part of the initiative, the parties have created the Venture Building for Entrepreneurs to engage graduates of the UPSA who deserved to spend their one-year national service period to set up their businesses.
“The project will commence with one hundred (100) service persons who will be trained in agribusiness and other sectors,” he said.
NSS Construction and Housing Project
Again, he said the NSS Construction and Housing Project was meant to build, sell and engage in construction and reconstruction works across the 16 Regions in Ghana.
He said service persons deployed under this project would be put in groups to undertake various works on mapping and surveying, planning and designing structures, and marketing and selling of building properties