LACK of job opportunities is driving a number of post national service persons to apply for enrolment in the voluntary national service programme in the Ashanti Region.
The region is billed to take on board 3,000 volunteers this year, but about twice that number has applied for engagement.
The Regional Director of the National Service Scheme (NSS), Mr Kwesi Quainoo, described the rush for voluntary enrolment as unprecedented in the history of the NSS and said it was a source of concern to the secretariat because of the limited vacancies available.
He told the Daily Graphic that because of the lack of employment avenues, many people were refusing to leave the scheme on completion of their two-year voluntary national service.
Under the National Service Act, anyone who has completed his or her mandatory one-year national service can be engaged in the voluntary national service for a maximum of two years on application.
However, Mr Quainoo said, the secretariat could not absorb the growing number of applicants because of financial constraints.
“We are, therefore, turning away some of the applicants,” he said.
He noted that if the secretariat continued to take many people on board, the system would be choked.
In all, 10,000 national service persons, made up of 7,000 fresh ones and 3,000 voluntary, will be posted to various establishments in the Ashanti Region this year.
Mr Quainoo indicated that most of the service persons were being posted to schools to teach, adding that to make the registration exercise smooth, the regional secretariat had created three centres in Kumasi.
He underlined the importance of national service in the development of the economy and urged the service persons to accept posting to anywhere in the country.
The director pointed out that the situation where prospective service persons attempted to apply various tricks to change their postings was not in the interest of the secretariat and the nation.
He explained that national service enabled fresh graduates to taste independent lives, which helped them in their working lives later.
He said the problem of irregular payment of allowances was now a thing of the past.
Mr Quainoo urged user agencies to monitor the performance of service persons and report to the secretariat.