Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta

Government under the Ghana Cares Obaatanpa programme has unveiled its innovative National Unemployment Insurance Scheme. 

The initiative which is starting with the tourism and educational sector will undertake vocational and technical training for private sector workers that loss their jobs, as part of the negative impact of the corona virus pandemic.

To this end, the Ministry of Finance together with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations launched a national training and retraining for some affected persons.

Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffuour Awuah in a speech defended the reason for choosing the tourism and educational sector, saying, they are the highest affected by the COVID-19.

“The sectors chosen for now have been mostly affected and looking at the number involved and impact, it is just understandable that we begin with them, so that we can expand the scope subsequently” he noted.

Government announced in the 2020 Mid-Year Fiscal Policy Review the establishment of a National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) which is to offer income support to workers who become unemployed due to external factors like COVID-19.

The training and re-training programme is a component to preserve and upgrade the human capital of the affected workers and to facilitate their re-entry into productive employment at higher levels of performance.

The training is being piloted in the tourism, hospitality and education sectors.

National Unemployment Insurance for workers affected by COVID-19 begins

Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, is positive that this will transform the country’s employment landscape since many will be given the opportunity to get on board the programme.

“The training and retraining programme which is a component of the NUIS is aimed at preserving and upgrading the human capital and skills of the current cohort of workers who lost their employment or are under-employed because of the pandemic”.

“It is focused on skills upgrading, work ethics, productivity and attitudinal change. It is focused on enhancing workers prospects for re-entry into the labour market at higher levels of productivity or performance. It emphasises vocational, technical and professional training and retraining”, he pointed out

Other stakeholders including the Trades Union Congress, Ghana Employers Association, among others have given their blessings to the initiative.

Secretary General of the TUC, Dr. Yaw Baah, urged the Ministry to fast track the process which will ensure that other sectors of the economy that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are added onto the programme.