Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo
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Aug 9, 2017

In what appears to be a hike in agitation for jobs, more groups especially graduates from training institutions are demanding for immediate employment.

The situation is exerting pressure on the government which continues to call for calm with an assurance that jobs would be created through the various development interventions.

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Graduate nurses from private training schools for over a week picketed at the Ministry of Health, demanding their posting to health institutions.

Also, graduate teacher trainees on Tuesday took to the streets to mount pressure for their posting.

Aside that, members of political vigilante groups aligned to the ruling new Patriotic Party, particularly Delta Force and Invincible Force, last week at a Town Hall meeting at Tema, demanded jobs from the government, amidst threats of demonstration.

There is a moratorium on public sector employment in an attempt by the government to effectively manage the public sector wage bill.

The public universities are also asking government to lift the employment freeze to enable them employ to at least fill in vacancies created through retirement, transfers and resignations, but the government has not yielded to that appeal.

In the labour market, automation of factories is also leading to job cuts, while there is an increase in fixed term or non-standard jobs as opposed to standard employment, thereby creating uncertainty and job insecurity among workers.

The announcement by the Senior Minister, Mr. Yaw Osafo Marfo that the government does not intend employing for the public sector because the sector is already choked.

Addressing the 2017 Ghana Economic Forum in Accra, he said said the government did not have the capacity to employ more public servants, and the government might even forced to lay off some workers if the need arise.

This has triggered questions about the government’s plans to deal with youth unemployment.

For instance Mr. Abraham Coomson, General Secretary of the Ghana Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union, described the statement by the Senior Minister as inappropriate because Ghanaians do not need lamentations from a government that has promised jobs.

“He should be telling how many jobs they have created so far or what plans are underway to create jobs both in the public and private sectors,” he said.

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), has also called for clarity on the employment freeze since it believes the Education and health sectors should be exempted.

Mr. Angel Carbonu, Vice President of NAGRAT said the current indications from the government on the matter are at odds with the need for personnel in Ghana Education Service and the Ghana Health Service, which have declared vacancies for teachers and health professionals.

The government remains optimistic that its flagship projects, especially those planned for the rural areas, would create jobs for the youth.

According to the Mrs. Gifty Ohene-Konadu, Coordinator of the One District, One Factory Initiative, indicates that the project would soon be launched after the screening of some 400 companies that have expressed interest in investing in the building of factories in the districts.

The Planting for Food and Jobs initiative, which is aimed at promoting agriculture for job creation, has also taken off with a number of incentives to attract the youth into farming.

But whatever the situation, labour analysts say the government needs to have a handle in the unemployment issue since its mishandling could pose a national security threat.

By Nii Adotey/

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