The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has said the new jobs programme – Nation Builders Corps – announced in the recent budget is, perhaps, the most ambitious programme designed to address what has become the most critical economic challenge of the country.
According to the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, the Nation Builders Corps programme will employ 100,000 graduates across the nation in 2018.
In a preliminary statement to assess the policies in the budget statement, signed by its Secretary-General, Dr. Yaw Baah, the TUC observed that it had earlier noted that the greatest challenge facing the nation today is the lack of decent jobs for young people, and had tasked government to go beyond the rhetoric, and outline practical measures to address the challenge.
“The TUC welcomes this bold initiative…It will also signal to young people who have invested so much time and money in their education that education pays”.
However, the TUC was quick to point out that the country’s trade policy remains unfair to local manufacturers and farmers, particularly, livestock farmers.
“We need a very radical review of our trade policy to protect our manufactures and farmers. Ghana needs to work with other countries in the ECOWAS region to secure the sub-regional market for our private sector”.
The statement also stated that the TUC expects to hear more about measures government is taking to bring down the cost of borrowing and notes that Ghana’s private sector has suffered much unfairness in the areas of trade, high cost of production and cost of credit compared to other countries like China, turkey, Brazil and South Africa.
It believes the private sector needs the support of government, for a specified period, to enable local entrepreneurs expand their businesses and create decent jobs for Ghanaians.