A labour consultant has urged caution in asking the nation’s youth to fix broken down streetlights, arguing that it is risky and an unsustainable form of job creation.
Austin Gamey said the government may rather give the job of fixing lights to professionals already trained or alternatively ensure that the youth it recruits to work on the said project are reasonably protected.
“Anything that can be done to help people secure jobs is good and commendable. What is rather difficult is the number of people being called upon to be trained to perform a task that is reasonably risky – fixing electrical bulbs on certain poles by the roadside.
“If it is about job creation, why don’t they get those people who are well trained to do the job so that we do not have unnecessary death and maiming,” he told Joy News Wednesday.
Austin Gamey’s remarks come on the back of a proposal made to Parliament’s Public Account Committee by the Minister for Youth and Sports on government’s plan to engage the youth to fix streetlights.
Isaac Asiamah on Tuesday said the programme is aimed at providing jobs for the youth and more street lights to illuminate the dark streets.
“What I have observed is that we purchase these streetlights all the time but due to lack of maintenance, they go off after few months. And this development is affecting everyone, including Members of Parliament and District Chief Executives.
“So what we are embarking upon is a project to train young people on how to repair streetlights and maintain them across the country,” Asiama revealed to PAC.
But Mr. Gamey maintained that apart from the risky nature of what the country may be introducing the youth to, fixing bulbs is an unsustainable form of job creation.
“The problem is that it is inadequate. They will soon finish and become unemployed. The reality is that fixing a bulb can end at a certain point in time. It is not going to be forever,” he said.
The Labour Consultant is not alone on this stance. The Minority Ranking Member on Employment agrees with him.
Richard Quarshigah asked “how many communities have street lights for which reason you say you are training some young people in streetlight maintenance?
“What hon. Asiama said is a nonstarter, it is amateurish and it will not just fly.
“The government must concentrate on getting enough streetlights for all the communities. There are some communities with no streetlights at all,” he told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gapo.