The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Kofi Baah Agyepong, has expressed confidence in the newly launched Business and Employment Assistance Programme (BEAP) as a pivotal solution to Ghana’s persistent unemployment challenges.
The initiative is designed to extend a much-needed lifeline to countless young individuals striving to secure a promising future amid economic uncertainties.
Mr. Agyepong emphasized that BEAP’s primary focus is to alleviate the financial strains faced by Micro and Small Scale Enterprises (MSMEs), particularly during the tumultuous period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Drawing on recent data from a Ghana Statistical Service survey, which revealed the hardships experienced by businesses, including wage reductions and closures, BEAP emerges as a vital intervention to support struggling enterprises.
In a press briefing in Kumasi, Mr. Agyepong outlined the key features of BEAP, stating that the programme aims to provide salary support of GHS 500 per recruited employee to MSMEs, with the employers contributing the remainder.
The targeted sectors include chop bars, pharmacies, schools, and more, with the overarching goal of not only alleviating financial burdens on these enterprises but also creating employment opportunities for Ghana’s workforce.
Highlighting the ambitious scope of the programme, Mr. Agyepong announced plans to support 10,000 companies, facilitating the employment of approximately 20,000 individuals.
He reassured the public of the YEA’s sustainable funding from the Communication Service Tax, underscoring the agency’s unwavering commitment to directing these funds exclusively towards job creation.
He expressed gratitude to the government for its endorsement and support. He also acknowledged the pivotal role YEA had played in partnering with state agencies, offering skills training, and fostering employment opportunities.
He cited the success stories of various programmes implemented over the past year, showcasing the agency’s dedication to reducing unemployment rates and enhancing the livelihoods of young people.
Mr. Agyepong further provided insights into YEA’s achievements in 2022/2023, including the recruitment of thousands of individuals across various sectors, from community protection and health services to entrepreneurship and vocational training.
The CEO highlighted the extensive impact of YEA initiatives, with over 16,000 jobs created in the Ashanti Region alone, offering hope and stability to Ghanaian youth seeking employment and entrepreneurial ventures