Over 42,000 people who lost their jobs as a result of the negative impact from COVID-19 are set to benefit from the Unemployment Insurance Scheme, Deputy Minister-Designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, has assured.
The scheme is aimed at providing some relief for workers who have lost their jobs, and will aid such individuals with financial support.
Appearing before parliament’s Appointment Committee on Tuesday, June 8, 2021, Mr. Wireko-Brobbey – who is also the Member of Parliament for Hemang, Lower Denkyira Constituency in the Central Region, said the scheme is currently in its final stages.
He disclosed that a consultant who was contracted to ascertain the impact of job losses in 2020 has presented a report, which showed that over 42,000 people were laid-off as result of COVID-19.
“The ministry commissioned a consultant to do a study of the effect that COVID-19 had had on employment and about 876 institutions were dealt with. About 42,000 workers lost their jobs,” he told the Committee.
He added that operation of the scheme will also take into consideration the number of people who lost their jobs during the financial sector clean-up that was undertaken by the Bank of Ghana from 2017 to 2020.
Mr. Wireko-Brobbey, who will serve a second term at the ministry if approved by the committee, explained that a Tripartite Technical Committee that was instituted by government will soon publish the modalities for implementing the Scheme.
He maintained that the Scheme, when operational, will provide direct financial support to workers who lose their jobs or suffer pay cuts in the event of a social or economic crises – as witnessed during the financial sector reforms and COVID-19 pandemic period.
He stated that implementation of the scheme will be accompanied with training for employers and employees, particularly those in the private sector. This, he said, will empower private sector players to equip themselves with provisions in the scheme to take full advantage of the policy.
Responding to questions on jobs created by government from 2017 to 2020 after assuming office, Mr. Wireko-Brobbey announced that 3.8 million direct and indirect jobs have been created so far by the Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo administration. “We have created about 3.8 million jobs in the agriculture and the informal sectors since 2017 to date. Government intends to create an enabling environment for more jobs to be created this year,” he stressed.
He observed that the aim of government going forward is to consolidate its gains in the agricultural sector by creating sustainable jobs which will guarantee decent wages for workers. To achieve this, Mr. Wireko-Brobbey said, other important ministries are collaborating with the Employment Ministry to encourage more people to venture into vocational skills.