DECENT JOB FOR THE YOUTH IS GOVERNMENT PRIORITY
Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, has stated that the creation of decent jobs for the youth is government priority due to the increasing rate of unemployment which has resulted in illegal migration among the youth.
This, he stated at the recent Job Fair organized by the German Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations on Thursday, 23rd May, 2019 at the Trade Fair center in Labadi, Accra.
The Minister said the increasing rate of unemployment has become a national security concern and that governments all over the world have recognized it. He called for immediate measures to address the issue since it could lead to serious threat to the nation. “Indeed, it can be said that unemployment among the youth was the catalyst for the Arab Spring which saw the collapse of government in North Africa”.
Hon. Baffour Awuah reiterated that, it was in this regard that government has risen to the challenge to put in place measures to create decent jobs for the youth. He pointed out that with the introduction and implementation of the Nation Builder Corps (NABCO) programme, about 100,000 graduates have been engaged in different sectors of the economy. The Youth Employment Agency through its Entrepreneurship Development and Planting for Food and Jobs have also created many jobs for the youth.
The Minister also pointed out that unemployment occurs because of disconnection between employers and jobseekers. This is due to lack of information about available job opportunities which require knowledge and skills set on the job market.
He added that, there was the need to create a forum, which will bridge the gap between jobseekers and potential employers. This is why Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between MELR and GIZ focused on employment promotion through job-matching, vocational counselling and guidance. In line with that, it is envisaged that over 27 Public Employment Centers (PECs) will be revamped across the country to be operating at full capacity so that job canvassing and job-matching are projected to appreciable levels.
Hon. Awuah said linking jobseekers to potential employers is critical for the promotion of social inclusion and the elimination of information asymmetry in job market. This, he emphasized, was an integral part for the functions of the Labour Department in Ghana. Thus, the Ministry is putting in place conscious efforts to build institutional and human resource capacity of the Department to make it more effective in the execution of its mandate.
The Fair brought together more than 140 employers who are potentially in position to provide job vacancies for at least 1000 job seekers and place them in employment.