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Business News of Tuesday, 28 November 2006

Source: GNA

Stakeholders meet on employment avenues

Accra, Nov.28, GNA - The Ministry of Manpower, Youth and Employment on Tuesday acknowledged the role the informal sector could play in national development if the sector is nurtured and developed to contribute effectively to tax revenue.

The Sector Minister, Alhaji Boniface Abubakar Saddique, who made the observation in Accra, said the informal sector attracted a large number of people hence the need to organise and provide them with decent jobs to enable the Government to generate the needed revenue for development. Speaking at a stakeholders meeting on funding the Decent Work Programme in Accra, he said it sought to empower the youth through skills and apprenticeship training and to assist them set up small-scale industries.

It is expected that development partners and other stakeholders would buy into the project and graciously support it financially. The success of the programme, piloted in two districts in the Central Region has led to it replication in 40 districts in the 10 regions and is part of the Government's contribution at poverty reduction through employment creation and income generation as well equally help in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and private sector objectives of Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy II. He noted that as a result of weak career guidance and poor labour market information system, students and trainees were not aware of the shrinking wage in both public and private sectors and said it was intended to introduce enterprise culture in education and training curriculum as part of measures aimed at employment creation and poverty reduction.

He said a 1999 survey on poverty levels estimated that 42 per cent of Ghanaians were poor and that 29.2 per cent was very poor with the incidence of poverty very high among food crop farmers and informal sector wage employees.

The Decent Work Programme, he said, focused on the youth, who were bearing the brunt of unemployment lacked the necessary preparation for self-employment.

The Ministry of Finance and Economy Planning and Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Environment pledged their support and noted that the programme was vital since it fitted into the Government's plan of creating decent jobs, sustainable employment and wealth creation to reduce poverty.

Mrs Sina Chuma-Mkandawire, Country Representative of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), said the ILO was mobilising the donor community towards adopting the programme as a universal employment framework and also to incorporate it into their policy dialogue and programming cycles.