Parliament has approved a US$200 million financing agreement between the govt of Ghana and also the International Development Association (IDA) to finance the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project (GJSP).
The project, which is being financed with a credit from the IDA would be implemented over a six-year period and is predicted to shut on 30th June 2026.
The terms and conditions of the credit facility include the loan amount of US$200 million, the Repayment period of 25 years, a grace period of 5 years, the maturity period of 30 years, and an interest charge of 1.35 percent once a year.
There is a commitment charge of 0.5 percent once a year, service fee of 1.29 percent once a year, and a concessional rate of 26.22 percent.
Chairman of the committee, Dr. Mark Assibey-Yeboah, presenting the committee’s report, observed that the target of the project was to facilitate the socio-economic development of the country through improved support for skills development and job creation across the country.
He said the project was structured into five components like provision of apprenticeship training for jobs, provision of entrepreneurship and micro and little enterprise support for jobs, youth employment and skills development programs, project management support for enhanced skills and job impact, and contingent emergency and response.
Dr. Assibey-Yeboah also observed that through the apprenticeship and entrepreneurship skills development, including grants to individuals, micro and little enterprises envisaged under the project are expected to make more decent jobs through firm growth and therefore the establishment of latest businesses.
He said an estimated number of 25,000 individuals would receive apprenticeship training under a uniform, quality-assured system under component one.
He said out of this number, about 70 percent are expected to possess jobs six months after the completion of coaching, amounting to a minimum of 17,500 jobs.
He said a minimum number of twenty-five thousand individuals are expected to receive entrepreneurship training under subcomponent two of the program.
Dr Assibey-Yeboah also noted that administrative information from the National Board for little Scale Industries (NBSSI) indicates that for each direct job, two or three indirect jobs are created within the income-generating activities of that apprentice and entrepreneur.
He said in line with the projection, the roles under the component one and subcomponent two were expected to yield 105,000 to 157,500 indirect jobs.
He said in total, expected minimum direct jobs were 94,500 and expected minimum indirect jobs are 105,000 and expected total minimum jobs are 199,500.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Bia East, Richard Acheampong, urged the govt to make sure that US$40 million provisions for Entrepreneurship Training and Competitive Business start-up grants to individuals should be barren of any partisan consideration.
He expressed concern that component four of the project which relates to capacity development and technical assistance was costing the state US$40million, which is 25 percent of the loan facility, saying the capacity building was on the high side.
He however urged the government to scale back the quantity for the capacity building for the trainers by half and channel the funds to coach the apprentices and also provide them the start-up capital.
Mr. Acheampong also called on the government to set up a central system where people can easily check the figures on the country’s labor force, which he said was very hard to determine.
He said the varied ministries still churn-out numbers, which are very difficult to verify since there was no central point to validate these figures.
“There should be a central point in order that at the press of a button, one can easily get this information. Right now, if you would like to understand the unemployment levels within the country you can’t find it,” he added