THE People's National Convention (PNC) has described the National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP) as an ad hoc measure by the government to respond to the growing desperation among the majority of unemployed youth.
"The NPP having lost the confidence of the majority of the youth, decided as a matter of urgent necessity to introduce the NYEP. This programme cannot answer in definite terms the unemployment challenge in the country,” the party said.
Speaking at a news conference in Accra, the Youth Co-ordinator of the PNC Campaign Team, Mr Atik Mohammed, said the programme lacked the basics of a proper job, namely security of job, structural salary scheme and future prospects.
He said youth unemployment was a worrying fact of national life with 60 per cent of the youth unemployed whereas out of the 40 per cent that claimed to be employed, 20 per cent were underemployed.
"The elementary reasons accounting for this seemingly worsening jigsaw are lack of comprehensive policy guideline and less practical commitment of governments for the past years beyond mere declarations to address the fundamental concerns of the youth,” he contended.
Mr Mohammed said besides the existing huge pool of unemployed graduates, every year the tertiary institutions produced fresh graduates who did not easily get employment, partly due to the absence of jobs and also the paradoxical demand for centuries experience by employers as a qualification for employment.
"So, clearly, instituting a programme that employs people to direct traffic, barbers and so on without addressing these pertinent concerns does not mean relief to the graduate who has been searching for job without success", he pointed out.
The PNC also expressed grave concern about the exploitation of the youth during conflict situations to foment troubles.
"More saddening is the deliberate mortgaging of the future of the youth in this country by the ruling party. As a country that has the apparent or real belief in the youth, it boggles my mind that most, if not all, of our valuable national assets, which inspired confidence in the youth are sold out," he said.
He said education in the tertiary institutions which ought to be a right was gravitating towards becoming a privilege with concerted attempts by the government at achieving full cost recovery, which is defeating the essence of education.
He promised that the PNC when elected, would put in place a number of interventions that would relieve the people, particularly the youth.
Story by Timothy Gobah