The National Service Scheme (NSS) has deployed 700 service persons to a new module created to support the tourism industry.
The module is a collaboration between the National Secretariat and the Ghana Tourism Authority (GTA).
Dubbed NSS-GTA Support programme, the initiative will have NSS post-national service personnel to various businesses and establishments in the tourism sector.
It will focus on both private and public, at no cost to these establishments as NSS will fully absorb payment of allowance to the personnel.
The module is aimed at improving the patronage of tourism facilities and helping to boost the sector’s contribution to national development.
The initiative, which was launched in Accra, adds to the numerous modules that the NSS has rolled out to provide manpower support for some sectors of the economy.
As part of the programme, national service persons who have been deployed to the tourism facilities would be given training in tourism management and promotion services to help them discharge their duties.
The training will involve topics on data-keeping, concierge services, food and beverages, data collection, and tourism enhancement techniques to prepare the service personnel ahead of the service.
Speaking at the launch, the Executive Director of NSS, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, said the module was one of the innovative strategies by the outfit to complement the government’s effort to tackle unemployment in the country.
“There are a lot of opportunities we have not explored much in our tourism sector as a country and through this initiative, I am sure that by the end of the service period, personnel posted to this module will be equipped so much that they will become their own bosses,” he said.
He said the initiative had come at the right time as the tourism industry was beginning to take a centre stage in the government’s agenda to make Ghana the gateway to Africa.
Mr Assibey Antwi said he was optimistic that the launch of the programme would help to beef up the number of professionals needed to render quality services to improve the tourism industry.
“We are not only deploying university graduates but also equipping them with the needed training in all areas including those which have not yet been explored so that the tourism industry will grow as expected,” he said.
He advised personnel who have been deployed to the module to take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the tourism industry.
“So we at the National Service with the approval from our Board consider this very important professional support programme is very key. We need to go to all the agencies under GTA and support them; support them with our professionals,” he added.
The tourism and hospitality industry, since March 2020, has recorded a drastic decline in its operations due to the commencement of the Covid-19 pandemic which caused businesses to close down, reduced inflows of revenues and staff layoffs.
For his part, the Executive Director of GTA, Mr Akwasi Agyeman, pledged the full commitment of the authority to the initiative since it would go a long way to provide the needed support the industry needed to thrive.
He acknowledged the Executive Director of the NSS for spearheading the initiative in a bid to support the tourism industry.
He observed that through the module and its associated training programme, the tourism and hospitality industry would begin to experience more expert hands to drive the development in the tourism sector.
“The component of training and orientation attached to the NSS-GNT Support Program is to ensure that at the end of the day, we are not posting people to tourism and hospitality facilities to work, but they are going to impact the industry with the training they will be given so that out of it, we will have a lot of tourism entrepreneurs,” he said.
Mr Agyeman urged the management of NSS to ensure that the programme is sustained for the next generation.