The Executive Director of National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, has advised national service personnel (NSP) to see the national service programme as an avenue to enhance their potentials rather than as a punishment.
He said national service was an opportunity for service persons to build their capacity, improve on their skills, and enhance their chances of employment.
“National service is not a punishment, it rather provides you (NSP) with a whole year opportunity to learn how to work with people, appreciate proper corporate governance practices and build connections with people and brands that can help you come up with something meaningful which will benefit yourself and the entire society as awhole”, he said.
Mr. Assibey Antwi made that call while speaking at an orientation programme organised for NSPs in the Ho Municipal Assembly in the Volta Region of Ghana.
He observed that there was a wide range of opportunities that NSP could explore during the one-year national service.
However, he said it was only when the service persons were disciplined and dedicated at work that they could improve on their competencies.
That, he said, was critical because the current business terrain was more focused on skill sets and traits that promote productivity and healthy competition to make gains.
“Businesses are growing and need to make money; so your hard work, perseverance, dedication, punctuality to work and your respect for authority is what will gain you the job but not changing your postings to your preferred place”, he said.
The NSS Executive Director further said the scheme, under his watch, had begun exploring new initiatives that would make the organisation an employment agency in
For instance, he said the scheme had begun rolling out training programs in agriculture, health, tourism and entrepreneurship ventures that with the overall
objective of equipping service persons with the hands-on techniques to build and manage their own businesses.
“Apparently, we have completed negotiations and signing of eight new projects which include Cash-For-Work and Job Promotion Project, Pathways to Sustainable
Employment (PaSE) Project and Youth in GreenHouse Enterprise Project. Others include Venture Building Program, the Stambic Graduate Transition Support Program
(GTSP) and NSS Construction and Housing Project”, he stated.
Exhibit traits of hard work
For his part, the Volta Regional Director of the NSS, Mr. Ambrose Entsiwah Jnr., who took the personnel through the fundamentals of postings and service ethics, advised service persons to exhibit traits of hardwork, dedication and respect for authority.
He cautioned the service persons to desist from engaging in acts that would speak ill of the scheme.
“National Service is for only one year and this year can either make you employed or unemployed so make good choices, associate yourselves with good people and do the right things only”, he admonished.
In a related development, the Volta Regional Minister, Mr. Achibald Yao Letsa, commended Mr. Assibey Antwi and the management of NSS for the initiatives they
introduced upon assumption of office this year.
He pledged his commitment to support the vision of Mr Assibey Antwi to help build the potential of the youth for a better future.
“I will support these initiatives because when the youth are rightfully engaged, social vices and unemployment reduces drastically," he said.
The regional minister stated this when Mr. Assibey Antwi and his team paid a courtesy call on him and shared the vision of NSS with him ahead of the orientation programme.
ABOUT THE INITIATIVES
Cash-For-Work and Job Promotion Project
The National Service Scheme with financial assistance from Ghana-German Centre (GIZ) has created opportunities for the Youth to be trained in Agri-business and Entrepreneurship to provide them with start-up kit that will make them establish businesses after the training.
The Stambic Graduate Transition Support Program (GTSP)
This initiative is spearheaded by Stambic bank to provide a sustainable support system to NSPs in the area of financial literacy and business development by granting them access to consumer financing.
The initiative which is seeking to train and support NSPs with training programs and financial support will also grant NSPs with an advance allowance of up to 40% of their monthly allowance at a competitive rate and allow them participate in a training program Known as Surviving After School Seminar.
Pathways to Sustainable Employment (PaSE) Project
This initiative is in conjunction with Ghana Tech Lab (GTL) to equip more than 2,000 young graduates with the relevant skills to be able to create their own companies, provide employment as well as offer lasting solutions to the problems which exist within the societies of Ghana. This project currently has 24 centers with each center housing 30 service persons.
Amongst the many things, the program named “Graduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track (EI Track) will take personnel through Mobile App development training programs, create a pool of start-up entrepreneurs ready for business incubation and acceleration.
The project will begin with a pilot cohort of 400 personnel to undergo a training on Mobile App development but will start with 100 personnel. When rolled out, the project is expected to help scale up MSMEs industry in Ghana.
Youth in GreenHouse Enterprise Project
This initiative is in collaboration with Agri-Impact Consult (AIC) to train over 500 personnel in Greenhouse vegetable production and management with soft loans form Exim bank to start their business after service. The AIC will, as part of the agreement, help enhance the commercialization of the NSS farms through capacity development and facilitating special off-taker agreements.
The project is targeted at equipping more than 500 graduates with Greenhouse management skills to be able to create jobs in the agri-business sector annually.
Venture Building Program
The NSS in partnership with the University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) and Innohub have created the Venture Building for Entrepreneurs to engage over 100 graduates of the University who deserve to spend their one-year National Service period to set up their businesses. The project has commenced with one hundred (100) service personnel who are being trained in agribusiness and other sectors.
NSS Construction and Housing Project
This initiative is scheduled to build, sell and engage in construction and reconstruction works across the 16 Regions in Ghana.
The NSPs deployed under this project will be put in groups to undertake various works on mapping and surveying, planning and designing structures, and marketing and selling of building properties.