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General News of Friday, 28 August 2020


Coronavirus: NSS personnel anxious of job security as service ends

According to some NSS personnel, there are no jobs in the country. File photo According to some NSS personnel, there are no jobs in the country. File photo

For some tertiary graduates, getting a job right after National Service comes as a “blessing” due to the scarcity of jobs in the country.

When you throw in the fact that Covid-19 has disrupted the economy of most countries and thus rendered most people jobless a stark picture is painted.

It is that time of the year where National Service Scheme (NSS) personnel have to say goodbye to their jobs following their 1-year experience in their various organizations and fields of work that fetched them GH¢559 each month.

Sharon Willis Acquah who underwent her National Service at a private media house in Ghana tells GhanaWeb that “It is not going to be easy for us when we go out there unless you are one of the lucky ones who have been assured that they are going to be retained at their various workplaces.”

With hopes high, 2019 service personnel who are still “fortunate” to be at their duty post await a confirmation letter from their Human Resource (HR) manager for new employment.

According to the National Service Scheme (NSS) a total of 77,962 personnel were posted in the 2019/2020 service year.

GhanaWeb spoke to some National Service Personnel who shared their experience and their plans for the future in a year where organization are retaining just a handful of young graduates.

“NSS personnel laid off before the end of their service”

“In my company, we ended our service before the actual date, they didn’t give us any explanation, we had to end it in July...Where I work, a lot of people have lost their jobs including NSS personnel who had hopes of getting a permanent job, “ Joseph Ekow Plange tells GhanaWeb.

From all indication, putting up a good show in the past 12 months isn’t good enough as there is no money to recruit service personnel who performed well.

Emmanuel Kwasi Gyan, who underwent his National Service at a government institution said: “You need no one to tell you about this, even those who are working permanently are being sent home, how about us (NSS personnel). Most of my colleagues have been negatively affected, most of them were laid off, they were told to go home even before their time was due.”

“Closed doors: Covid-19 affecting NSS recruitment”

“The number of service personnel intake has reduced drastically, when I came here I came with a lot of colleagues when our service is due, my boss usually asks us to get people who are equally good … this time around she didn’t even discuss that with us. That tells you how the COVID has affected the whole recruitment this year.”

For fear of spreading the virus at the workplace, some organizations had to come up with draconian measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Sharon mentioned that “one of my very close friends was asked to go home; one for health reasons and two for financial reasons. The institution she worked for got worried that she has been boarding public transport, they taught that will put their workers at risk.”

Joseph was sent home 2 months before the end of his National service, he predicts a low intake of personnel for the year 2020.

“Where I work in my year (2019) we were a little above 50, but now, I heard that they will be taking just 16 personnel this year. This is a huge fall in just a single year all due to Coronavirus. Some are not taking in people at all, that has been a huge challenge. Surprisingly, we are almost in September and prospective NSS personnel have not been posted yet and they don’t know if it is actually going to happen.”

“There are no jobs in the country”

“There are no available jobs for people who are done with their National Service although the government has made provision for some employment like the NABCO even those ones cannot absorb the huge number of personnel that are being churned out every year including this year,” said Master Plange.

This young lady by name, Sharon Willis Acquah, belives that more personnel are going to be hard-hit at a time where there are low chances of getting employment.

“There are no jobs available for us…every year were hear people complaining about the lack of jobs. The level of unemployment keeps going higher and higher, this year is no exception. It is not going to be easy for us when we go out there unless for those who have been assured that there are going to be retained at there various workplaces,” she tells us.

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