Labour expert, Mr. Austin Gamey, a former Employment Minister, has described the absence of credible labour market data as inimical to the country’s economic growth.
According to him, without quality labour market information, planning in all aspects of the economy, especially for industrial growth and job creation, becomes difficult and often unsuccessful.
In a panel discussion on policies and strategies for jobs and livelihood opportunities for young people in Ghana, at the CAMFED Ghana/Mastercard Foundation’s Annual Learning Summit in Accra, Wednesday, Mr. Gamey blamed the lack of credible data on labour market to poor policies and disjointed structures between educational systems, enterprise support institutions, public employment agencies and industry.
“We appear to be running in circles and applying knee-jerk solutions that are not sustainable in addressing our high unemployment situation.
“We have multiple and duplicated policies without a common national direction.
“In all the sectors, you find that we have built small silos and hiding in them,” he said.
He also called for an overhaul of the country’s educational system to make it more entrepreneurial and practical oriented to enable graduates to be innovative in thinking outside-the-box to develop sustainable solutions to the country’s development challenges.
To address the situation, he said there was a need to synergize policies in the educational, training and industrial sectors.
Such a synergy, he said, would require “inspirational leadership” from all sectors to guarantee quality and purposeful outcomes that ensure that young people secure the relevant education and training, while sustainable job opportunities are facilitated to accommodate young people with the requisite skills.
Professor William Baah-Boateng, Head of the Economics Department at the University of Ghana, in a presentation on youth unemployment and joblessness challenge in Ghana, said although the country has many institutions and policies responsible for job creation interventions, the challenge of unemployment continue to worsen.
This, he explained, was because most of the policies were developed without rigorous research to determine the problem and the right solutions.
He said although “we are in dynamic global environment where technology is creating changes with speed, we are struck with the old teaching and training systems,” resulting in the inability of graduates to be innovative and appreciate job creation opportunities.
He cited the free Senior High School programme which would churn out more secondary school graduation from next year, yet “we have not expanded the tertiary schools and technical vocational training institutions to accommodate them.”
The summit, which has the theme, “Supporting young people’s livelihoods: exploring post-secondary school opportunities,” provided the platform for stakeholders to discuss measures to creating opportunities for secondary school graduates who are unable to enter tertiary education.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com