As part of efforts at making national service personnel global entrepreneurs to create wealth and jobs and also ready for the world of work, the National Service Scheme (NSS) has introduced new modules where the personnel will be trained into competitive industry leaders in tourism, information technology, building and Construction, agribusiness and industries, among others.
The concept, dubbed “Deployment for Employment”, which had already commenced, is a new strategic direction that moved from the traditional norm of “Mobilization for Deployment.”
The NSS Executive Director, Osei Assibey Antwi, disclosed this when the scheme took its turn to provide the “State of the Agency Report”.
Organised on Monday, December 6, 2022, by the Information Ministry for state agencies to brief the nation about their work, the NSS boss addressed the press on the topic, NSS: An agent for Ghana's socio-economic growth and development.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi mentioned some innovations brought about by the NSS to augment the scheme, which include the NSS/Teaching Program, NSS Youth in Housing and Construction, NSS/MSME Accounting Aid Program, NSS/MOTAC Support Program, NSS/Data & Research Project, NSS/ Youth in Agriculture, NSS/ IT Solutions Program.
The Executive Director noted that the paradigm shift took into consideration the level of unemployment rates and, therefore, deployed personnel to agencies and modules for a year that will offer permanent employment opportunities and provide entrepreneurial and employment skills.
He explained that the new strategic move is aimed at repositioning the scheme to retain some of its personnel after their national service and also ensure that those who went out to the world of work were capable and ready to create their own companies, employ others and also will be fit and prepared to be employed.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi said it was intended to inculcate in the teeming youth the ability to move into entrepreneurship even during their service period.
This, he explained, will make them self-sufficient, industrious and productive after their service.
"The young Ghanaian graduate is expected to embrace the idea of entrepreneurship by identifying viable economic ventures of the Ghanaian economy and to use its potential to explore.
The Executive Director said his first shot was when he put the digitalization agenda of the government into practice and reaped enormous benefits during the 2021/2022 period.
“I applied the Metric App, and with just cellular phones, sieved out over 14,000 names from the list of those going to undertake the national service. This singular use of digitalization saved the nation GHC112 million, a feat the Vice President publicly acknowledged, adding, “The App, the first of its kind, is a facial recognition,”
“The NSS-MOTAC Support Programme is an annual pool of 1,000 graduates trained and deployed to the tourism and hospitality industry to offer business support services to enhance their profitability.
It has supported the tourism industry in boosting service delivery in hotels, restaurants, museums, forts, and castles, among other things.
“This programme leverages technology, gender diversity, inclusivity, and astute training models to equip tourism enterprises to achieve customer intimacy, operational and marketing excellence, and profitability,” he said.
NSS/MSME ACCOUNTING AID PROGRAM
The NSS Executive Director also mentioned that the GNSS MSME Accounting Aid Programme seeks to train 2,000 – 10,000 graduates in Accounting, Marketing, IT, Purchasing and Supply Management to offer Business Support Services to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises annually.
It is aimed at assisting MSMEs to enhance their financial management practices by providing Professional Accounting Services by the service personnel.
The support, he explained, will culminate in proper bookkeeping that can facilitate credit accessibility, business performance tracking, cash flow management, employment creation, and business sustainability for the MSME owners.
Currently, 6,000 graduates are undergoing pedagogic training to enhance efficient facilitation in the classroom.
He mentioned that the GNSS/Teaching Programme is a collaboration to train untrained national service personnel posted as teachers towards awarding temporary certificates to permit personnel to practice as teachers.
“There is a law in this country which frowns on teaching without pedagogic training. We have linked up with National Teaching Council (NTC), which is developing the curriculum that will be used for the short training.
NSS DATA & RESEARCH PROJECT
The establishment of nationwide Research & Data Centres to offer services to individuals and organizations. Mr Osei Assibey Antwi explained that the Scheme recognizes the enormous benefits of a well-established and resourced data and research unit in contemporary times.
“As a strategically positioned government agency with up-to-date information on all deployment statistics, the Scheme is well placed in the provision of accurate data on graduate employability, industrial demand vis-à-vis available skill set as well as assist relevant public and private institutions in the formulation of youth-related policies,” he explained.
He said modalities towards the commencement of a research desk are in progress and that I’ve wanted to make research experts available to corporate bodies in need of their services.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi said this pool of researchers would be responsible for conducting several research on issues of national importance.
NSS/ YOUTH IN AGRICULTURE
“As part of our initiative to promote food security and help reduce the importation of maize, rice, soybeans, poultry and fish, the Scheme has negotiated with the Kumawu Traditional Council to release 50,000 acres of arable land for the project.” Mr. Osei Asibbey Antwi said. The intention is to have a modern commercial farm enclave to serve as a training and demonstration farm to equip the youth in Good Agronomic Practices.
The NSS boss said that this project would train 40,000 NSS youth in Agribusiness and Ag-Adjacent sectors in 4 years and create 60,000 Direct and Indirect jobs for NSS Youth in the agribusiness sector.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi said that Aquaculture is another sector where the Scheme is partnering with other agencies to create employment. He stressed that the Scheme currently has a fish pond that can accommodate about 6,000 fingerlings and cages on the Volta Lake and in Dawhenya that can support catfish and tilapia rearing”.