The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Barfour Awuah says the government is putting in place measures that will ensure the employment of the 1.2 million graduates from Senior High Schools and technical and vocational institutions.
The Minister said the government’s efforts have been intensified following the high patronage of its Free SHS intervention and expected increase in enrolment into TVET institutions following the promise of making it free.
The sector minister made this known while delivering the keynote address at the launch of a report by the World Bank on youth unemployment in Ghana.
He said unemployment is expected to rise in Ghana in the short to medium term but the government will ensure that the numbers are reduced through the creation of employment opportunities.
“The issue of unemployment is expected to grow in the short to medium term due to the success of the government’s free SHS program and the planned TVET for Senior High Technical Schools. More than 1.2 million young people will be graduating annually from second cycle institutions to enrol in tertiary education or training or move directly into the labour markets. This is an increase from the 800,000 students enrolled in secondary schools in 2016. Efforts must therefore be doubled to ensure that employment opportunities exist for the products of our education and training institutions,” the Minister said.
He added that, “To this end, the government is promoting agribusiness and entrepreneurship to make them attractive to the youth. The cassava enterprise project, national entrepreneurship plan and presidential pitch are key examples of some of the interventions the government is using to provide jobs for young persons. These efforts are in addition to traditional employment opportunities in the formal sectors of the economy.”
The Minister said the government is looking to maintain strong collaborations with all its partners, local and international to ensure that more jobs are created to employ young people.
He noted that the government will not be able to high-handedly employ all the teeming young people and so is working to ensure that the right business atmosphere is created to enable private businesses operate and employ young people.
He cited Planting for food and jobs and 1D 1F programmes as key initiatives the government is undertaking to ensure that jobs are created within the private sector.