The Executive Director of the National Service Scheme, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, has commended the Managing Director of GIHOC Distilleries, Mr. Maxwell Kofi Dwumah and his Management for retaining and employing over 60 National Service Personnel (NSP) deployed to his organisation over the past four years.

He stated that “this gesture surely lends credence to the Scheme’s new vision of ‘Deployment for Employment’ which aims at equipping NSP with competency-based skills training and development towards employment”.

Mr. Antwi made the commendation when he paid a working visit to GIHOC distilleries accompanied by the Head of Business Development of the Scheme, Mr. Gabriel Osei Junior on Monday.

The working visit was aimed at getting first-hand information and finding out whether the personnel posted to them met the requirements (skill set, technical expertise etc.) of the user agency and also to allow the personnel the opportunity to share their experiences during the internship period.

Again, the courtesy call was aimed at helping receive feedback from user agencies on the performance of the personnel posted to them and to encourage as well as assure the NSP of the Scheme’s preparedness to assist their transition from service to the world of work.

“We, at the National Service Scheme, conscious of the enormous responsibility of shaping the minds and hearts of tens of thousands of graduate youth, have embarked on employing innovative measures to minimise graduate unemployment,” Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi said.

According to him, “our statistics indicate that over 500,000 graduates have passed through the Scheme in the last five years. Granted that 200,000 of them have secured jobs, we still have over 300,000 of such talented youth idling away.”

The Executive Director indicated that it is a human security issue and the Scheme is poised to drastically reduce that number through its new modules, competency-based skills development training and the use of agriculture as a viable and sustainable alternative livelihood venture” he stated.

He explained that over 10,000 youth, especially women, will benefit from the flagship Kumawu Farm Enclave and Agritech Innovation Hub project currently ongoing at Samso in the Kumawu Afram Plains District.

Successful Pathways

According to Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, the Scheme has also identified and developed other novel pathways to mitigate graduate youth unemployment and mentioned some of them as –the NSS Youth in Teaching (in collaboration with GES, T-TEL, NTC, PRINCOF, etc.), the NSS Teachers Affordable Housing Construction, NSS Youth in Commercial Aquaculture (in conjunction with the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Department of Marine and Fisheries, University of Ghana, Legon and R&B Farms Ltd.), among others.

The Executive Director welcomed proposed areas of partnership and reiterated the commitment of the Scheme to collaborate with any institution or organisation aimed at creating job opportunities for the youth.

He called on the private sector to resort to the Scheme for its manpower needs. He stated that the Scheme has all the qualified professionals that the private sector needs to augment its operations.

Attestation

On his part, the Deputy Marketing Manager and Head of Research and Development at GIHOC, Mr. Ivan Hoffman indicated that NSP posted to GIHOC were some of the most hardworking and productive members of the facility’s workforce.

He commended the Scheme for the giant strides it is making to create pathways for the employment of NSP and called for greater collaboration between the Scheme, state-owned enterprises and the private sector to build synergies for development.

Mr. Ivan Hoffman took the opportunity to call for a mutually beneficial partnership between the Scheme and GIHOC in the areas of Marketing, data collection and interpretation, research on consumer behaviour and water production.

The Export and Sales Manager of GIHOC, Mr. Samuel Adu Frimpong, added that the Scheme could play an integral role in the cultivation of organic lemongrass (an important raw material for the production of lemongrass essential oils).

Partnership

He asserted that GIHOC could extract lemongrass essential oil for export and hence, a partnership between NSS and GIHOC in the production of lemongrass and its extraction will be mutually beneficial.

The visiting delegation from the NSS interacted with the 26 serving NSP who expressed their excitement and gratitude for the visit. They were full of praise for the ‘Deployment for Employment’ agenda of the Scheme as they are optimistic about its success.