Nearly 54,500 applicants of the Nation Builders Corps (NaBCo) programme have been notified of their placement in five modules of the programme and are to start work on October 1, 2018.
Some 49,642 out of the 54,481 successful applicants have accepted their placements and subsequently submitted their letters of acceptance before the August 31, 2018 deadline.
They have been put in the Civic Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Educate Ghana, Enterprise Ghana and Digitise Ghana modules of the programme.
In all, 100,000 people are to be enrolled onto the programme for the first year.
In an exclusive interview, the Chief Executive Officer of NaBCo, Dr Ibrahim Anyars, said the applicants who had been notified were those whose credentials, including educational background and national service, had been verified.
The second batch of placements is expected to be done on September 11, 2018 and will involve those selected for the Heal Ghana and the Feed Ghana modules, while pre-deployment orientation for successful applicants has been scheduled for September 17-19, 2018.
Dr Anyars said those in the first batch who could not submit their acceptance letters before the August 31, 2018 deadline would be given a window of opportunity when NaBCo’s Internet portal was opened from September 11.
On Tuesday, May 1, this year, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo launched the NaBCo in Kumasi as an initiative by the government to provide employment for 100,000 unemployed graduates this year.
The programme is initially intended to operate seven modules designed to meet the pressing needs of the nation, while providing jobs for the teeming youth who have received tertiary education but are struggling to find jobs, partly because of the ban placed on public sector employment by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The beneficiaries will be engaged for three years and they are expected to earn a monthly stipend of GH¢700 each.
The modules are Feed Ghana, Educate Ghana, Revenue Ghana, Heal Ghana, Enterprise Ghana, Digitise Ghana and Governance Ghana.
Throwing more light on applicants who had been notified, Dr Anyars said the fact that an applicant had been notified meant that he or she had met the criteria, including having a degree, higher national diploma or diploma, and having completed national service.
He was, however, quick to add that applicants from agricultural colleges and health-related backgrounds were exempted from the national service requirement but were expected to provide professional identification from the Nurses and Midwifery Council (NMC) and other auxiliary identification numbers.
He said notification for applicants for the two modules (Heal Ghana and Feed Ghana) had delayed because they had to go through professional verification.
“We have to verify those credentials from the NMC or the colleges of agriculture to make sure that the applicants are in good standing, so that they do not get posted to institutions where they will be rejected because they are not in good standing in terms of their professional membership,” he explained.
He said it did not mean that those whose status was still pending were unsuccessful; rather, their credentials were yet to be verified.
He said the physical encounter at the interview centres at 254 district locations gave an opportunity to NaBCo to weed out more than 20,000 unqualified applicants who were part of the over 140,000 people who had applied for the programme.
Dr Anyars said while GH¢600 million had been allocated for the programme this year, the state would spend GH¢842 million annually in allowances for the beneficiaries.
“Because of the limited funding we have for the first year, we looked at making provision for their monthly allowances as the cost of their annual training. Let’s say it’s GH¢700 per person to be spread over a 12-month period for their training,” he said.
On sustainability, he said the programme was a very expensive one which could only be justified from the kind of value the country would derive from it.
With the programme projected to cost GH¢3 billion in the next three years, he said, its sustainability would be seen from the productivity of the trainees.
He, however, said legislation would be required to regularise the scheme to guarantee statutory funding for it.
Dr Anyars said apart from the temporary engagement, the programme also offered the trainees the opportunity to acquire the skills that would help them secure employment.
He urged the young people selected for the programme to see it as an opportunity to serve the nation.