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10.11.2005 Business & Finance

BUDGET: National Employment Task Force set up

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Accra, Nov. 10, GNA - Government has set up a National Employment Task Force, to develop a well-structured and coordinated youth employment programme to facilitate job creation and placement for the youth in various economic ventures and social services.

The purpose of the Programme is to explore, recommend and provide additional employment opportunities for the youth in all districts throughout the country and thereby create conditions that will facilitate their economic empowerment.

The programme includes a combination of self-employment opportunities, wage-earning jobs and voluntary service activities. Finance Minister Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu announced this when he presented the 2006 Budget to Parliament on Thursday. He said the Government recognised the employment issue as a matter of grave concern, and had been exploring various options and avenues by which the problem could be addressed.

Mr Baah-Wiredu said to give meaning to the drive, enterprises located in the rural areas with the potential to spearhead development in particular, fields of commodity production and agro-processing would be developed into centres of excellence to be used as ready market for fresh farm produce for processing to minimise post harvest losses, generate employment and raise rural incomes.

Government will also support the setting up of learning centres for the wider community. These would be organised around prospering small private enterprises with the potential for expansion and the willingness of the entrepreneurs to accept and train others to develop similar businesses.

The Minister explained that the objective is to assist such enterprises to become the nucleus to develop the capacity and skills of rural unemployed and underemployed.

To meet the practical experience needs of employers, the Minister said government had proposed to establish an Employment Tax Credit scheme to provide incentives for companies employing fresh graduates from the tertiary institutions to improve their access to the job market. The credit would be allowed for all enterprises irrespective of their sizes.

These incentives will be additional to the normal allowable expenses for wages and salaries.

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