The Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management of the University of Cape Coast (UCC) has kick-started the training and retraining component of the National Unemployment Insurance Scheme (NUIS) for 1000 workers in the tourism and hospitality sector of the country.
The training and retraining programme, fully funded by the Government of Ghana, focuses on preserving and upgrading the human capital and skills of beneficiaries who lost their employment or are under-employed as a result of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic.
The initiative is part of the GH¢100bn Ghana COVID-19 Alleviation and Revitalisation of Enterprises Support (CARES) “Obaatan pa” programme by government i to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on households, firms, and the economy.
Mr. Akwasi Owusu Manu addressing the launch
Speaking at the launch of the programme at the School of Medical Sciences Auditiorium-UCC, a Senior Budget Analyst at the Ministry of Finance, Mr. Akwasi Owusu Manu, said a major outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic was the unprecedented levels of unemployment and joblessness recorded during that period.
He said the programme would be implemented in two phases with the first phase covering workers in the sectors that were mostly affected by the pandemic- private education sector and the tourism and hospitality sector.
The second phase, according to him, would cover other sectors of the economy with emphasis on vocational and technical training.
Mr. Manu said the first option was for workers who had the requirements and capacity to pursue existing academic programme or courses available in the training institutions.
He said the programme would enhance the capacity of more than 15,000 people nationwide with skills that could earn them jobs.
Some beneficiaries at the programme
He reminded beneficiaries that government had paid the required fees to the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management to enable them benefit from the knowledge to be offered and further advised workers to take advantage of the opportunity to enhance their employable skills.
Mr. Manu implored the Department to make sure that the beneficiaries justify the investments being made in them by the government and cautioned them not to take advantage of free skills to undermine the programme.
He noted that the government had put in place pragmatic measures to find lasting solutions to the unemployment menace in the country.
The Head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Prof. Issahaku Adam, expressed excitement about the initiative and indicated the readiness of his outfit to build the capacities of the beneficiaries with the right skills to increase their chances of securing a new job.
He said the Department was training about 338 employees for the first cohort in Cape Coast and would move to Wa to offer similar training to the covid-ravaged workers.
He mentioned that the second cohort would be trained at a later date.
Prof. Issahaku Adam (in suit, front row),Head of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, with faculty members of the Department.