50,000 Youth Begin Training under YouStart today

YouStart- Ghana Jobs and Skills Project

50,000 Youth Begin Training under YouStart today

About 50,000 youth selected across the country will officially start training today under the Ghana Jobs and Skills of the YouStart initiative.

The three-month training is expected to equip the participants with relevant skills, access to market, technology and financial support to enable them to start and grow their businesses.

The beneficiaries were selected out of the over 288,000 applicants who applied through the portal meant to receive applications from potential beneficiaries of the YouStart initiative.

It seeks to target 50 per cent women, persons with disability and unemployed youth as well as existing small businesses owned by school dropouts between the ages of 18 and 40

The project is being implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) with financing and technical support to the tune of GH¢400 million from the World Bank.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the GEA, Kosi Yankey-Ayeh, who made this known in an exclusive interview with the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday, said the financing and technical support, which had already been secured, was made possible through the Ministry of Finance (MoF) for the implementation of the project.

“The World Bank is investing close to GH¢400 million solely for the Ghana Jobs and Skills project made up of components for technical assistance and access to funding,” she said.

YouStart Initiative

YouStart initiative was announced by the government in the 2022 budget, with the objective of building an entrepreneurial nation and creating at least one million jobs for the youth in three years — from 2022 to 2025.

It was meant to ease constraints for existing and aspiring young entrepreneurs under the Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (Ghana CARES) programme, which is part of efforts to address the high youth unemployment rate in the country.

Through the programme, the government and its partners intend to commit about GH¢10 billion, over three years, towards the creation of at least a million jobs.

It is being implemented by the Ghana Enterprises Agency (GEA) and the National Entrepreneurship Innovation Programme (NEIP), with support from the World Bank.

It is a vehicle through which the government intends to provide funds and technical support for the youth between 18 and 40 years and youth-led businesses to assist them to start, build and grow their businesses.

It is being rolled out in three phases, comprising a district model where beneficiaries will be selected through special help desks in the 216 districts across the country; a commercial model, with banks on board, and the faith model, which will work with faith-based organisations to identify qualified candidates.

Financing support

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh said the project had the objective of providing entrepreneurship training and competitive start-up grants to youth who had the potential to start a business.

She explained that the project was considered as one of the main forms of support for the government’s top priority agenda of upgrading skills among the country’s population, creating more and better-quality jobs, and improving job outcomes for the youth.

Also, the  project, she said,  would connect success in these areas to ensure stability, social cohesion, and economic inclusion.

“We are starting the training across all the regional capitals with about 50,000 youth and will be implemented in three stages: basic, intermediate and advanced,” she said.

Job creation

Mrs Yankey-Ayeh explained that to help support job creation in the country, the GEA was tasked to implement the Ghana Jobs and Skills project.

“So, the GH¢400 million is to help build the youth to be able to start their own businesses and provide them with some form of technical assistance and access to funding to accelerate their growth.

“And this mandate is linked to the YouStart initiative which also seeks to target unemployed youth, especially the vulnerable, women, and rural entrepreneurs,” she added.