President John Mahama has said the unemployment rates in the country could be reduced if the private sector is open to employing fresh graduates into the job market.
There is a widely-held perception that majority of university graduates are not trained to suit the job market; leading to rising levels of graduate unemployment in the country.
According to President Mahama, the practice where employees require skills from fresh graduates before employing them is not helping the efforts to reduce unemployment in the country.
President Mahama recounted that “gone are the days when at the entrance of the university after the congregation, you have UAC and other employers standing with their forms and their vehicles waiting to register students who are coming from the university gates.”
The President added that “these companies employ these young graduates, train them and put them to work. Today many employers are reluctant to train people only to have them attracted to other enterprises after they have train them by better working conditions.”
The President however urged the private sector to desist from such practices. He made the comment during the National Job Summit held in Accra on Thursday. He said the only thing that can transform “our untrained labour force into living capital for social and economic transformation” depends on “education which is liberal, technical and vocational.”
“The obligation for skills empowerment and training now falls more on government in order to prepare the young people in the world of work,” he added.
Employment resource centre
President Mahama however disclosed that government will soon set up a national employment resource centre to collate a data base of job seekers.
According to him, the centre creates an opportunity for employers to recruit young people from.
“Under this restructuring and reform, we intend to create a new national employment resource centre. This new centre will enable the creation of a national employment and a skills database from which employers can freely recruit,” President Mahama stated.
The summit brought together 500 participants from both the informal and formal sectors to share knowledge and best practices needed in creating jobs in the country.
National employment policy
The event was also used to launch the national employment policy. Meanwhile, Employment and Labour Relations Minister, Haruna Iddrissu has said the newly launched employment policy will be the panacea to the unemployment problem in the country. According to him government is deeply concerned about the social and economic implications of unemployment on all Ghanaians especially women and “it is encouraging that the President launched the employment policy.”
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