The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has launched its Institute of Work, Employment and Society (IWES) as part of efforts to promote quality labour industry in the country.
Among its objectives, the Institute aims at leading in research that would promote work and impact on employment.
It seeks to be a world-class institution for the advancement of knowledge through policy guided research, training and advocacy on quality employment interventions.
Mr Bright Wireko-Brobbey, Deputy Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, speaking at the launch pledged his Ministry’s commitment to actively collaborate with the Institute for the benefit of the country’s labour force.
He described the inadequate data on labour issues in Ghana as a challenge that is adversely affecting the policy planning on employment interventions, and therefore expressed optimism that the work of the Institute would help to overcome that challenge.
Also, he urged other labour institutions to collaborate towards building the capacity of the country’s labour force, as well as enhancing the welfare of workers.
The Chairman of the occassion, renowned labour expert, Mr Austin Gamey, CEO of Gamey and Gamey Group also commended UPSA for the establishment the IWES which he believed would help to address the needs of the labour industry through research.
He lauded the Institute’s vision of seeking to aid the acceleration of national economic growth through the effective human resource development by offering reliable research data on labour.
Mr Gamey expressed the need for people across both public and private sector to pursue professionalism in their service delivery and align themselves to comply with the legislation that relates to their work.
He explained that there is a need for a paradigm shift in the world of work, where performance should be the basis for every form of reward or recognition, and that workers in the public service must strive to be impartial in the discharge of their duties, disassociating themselves entirely from every political influence.
Speaking on the topic, “Neutrality of the Public Service in the face of increasing Politicization,” the Guest Speaker, Professor Catherine M. Gerard said there is a great need for the civil service to be politically neutral to protect its integrity and job security.
She said the focus of civil servants must be on adding value to their professionalism and job performance to promote the overall goals and objectives of their institutions.
She called on the civil service to train workers and set up quality performance management systems that would guide the growth and direction of the public service as workers would become more focused on their jobs than involving themselves in partisan politics that will undermine the credibility of state institutions.
Nana Kwasi Agyekum-Dwamena, Head of Civil Service speaking on the subject reiterated that the Civil Service stands to actively enforce the civil service rules relating to neutrality and impartiality on politicisation.
Mr Edward Kareweh, General Secretary of Ghana Agriculture Workers Union, applauded the establishment of the facility and urged the Institute to offer meaningful research data.
He urged the Institute to offer more practical research work and avoid being overly academic to aid labour practitioners in their work.
He also cautioned the Institute not to follow the usual academic trend of researching into issues without adequate engagement with stakeholders, but instead provide a quality research background that will look into the issues that are relevant to the practitioners.
The Director of the Institute, Dr Mary Naana Essiaw explained that IWES was born out of the need to fill a gap in the labour sector of the country through relevant and quality research.
The Institute, she noted, would carry out activities that would promote knowledge through research, training, consultancy and advocacy services that are focused on the development of human resources, governmental and non-governmental organisations.
She said that IWES would achieve its vision through conducting of research that reflects current issues on work, employment and social issues relevant for practitioners, and also organise debates as a platform for experts to share knowledge and disseminate information.
The Director assured the public of IWES’s commitment to providing cutting-edge education, training and capacity development based on research insight, engaging with business and other stakeholders to track real workplace issues that require attention.
The launch, which was attended by, senior civil servants, unionists, politicians, academicians and diplomats, was also marked with IWES’s maiden International Labour Public lecture.
By Lizzy-Ann Kwagbedzi/adrdaily.com