Plan International Ghana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, have launched the Pathways for Sustainable Employment for Women and Youth in Ghana (PASEWAY) project to contribute to formal youth employment in decent work by 2022.
Partnered by the Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES) Ghana, Vocation Training for Females (VTF) Foundation, and Regional Advisory Information Network System (RAINS), the project is aimed at providing 4,050 young people with skills using various interventions to find employment or become entrepreneurs.
The project will be implemented in two major sectors; the construction industry in the Greater Accra and Northern regions and in the hospitality sector in the Ashanti Region.
In his speech, Mr Solomon Tesfamariam, the Country Director of Plan International Ghana revealed that by 2030, nearly 440 million young people would find themselves on the African labour market according to a study conducted by the New Partnership for Africa’s Development in 2017.
He expressed that this throws more light on the importance of educating, preparing and giving more light to women and the youth to contribute to achieving a better Ghana and place the continent at the centre of the global economic system.
Mr. Tesfamaraiam noted that technical and vocational education and training are a powerful vehicle for equipping young people with employment and entrepreneurial skills.
“In fulfilment of the SDG-8, which calls for decent work and economic growth, there is the need for rapid paradigm shift towards transformative training systems to develop the Knowledge, skills and creativity needed to secure the future of our young people,” he said.
He cited low esteem, low appreciation, and low appeal, as some of the major challenges faced in the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector adding that “its potential is not well recognised nor properly valued”.
He appealed to the partnering organisations to dedicate themselves to working towards attaining more resources and materials to aid in the implementation of the project.
Delivering the keynote address read on behalf of Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Ignatious Baffour Awuah, Madam Mawusi Awity noted only 10 per cent of graduates find jobs within one year of completing their national service according to a report published by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research in March, 2017.
She said this implies that it takes up to 10 years for most graduates to secure decent employment as a result of varied challenges ranging from lack of employable skills, low capacity of industry to absorb the growing labour force, and poor attitude of the graduates towards job opportunities, the report indicated.
“Available data obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service showed that both the public and private sectors would not be able to generate jobs in the required numbers to absorb the growing labour force”, he revealed.
The Minister advised the beneficiaries to seize the opportunity to transform their lives, as employment opportunities are limited, especially during this COVID-19 period.
On his part, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, (Programmes & Operations), National Youth Authority, Mr Nelson Owusu-Ansah, said the Authority is pleased of the project to move from, what he termed, the traditional way of training people, “where they are afterwards left to their fate, to where they would be prepared for the job market.”
He assured of the Authority’s willingness to spearhead the introduction of a new National Youth Policy, accompanied by an implementation plan to enable stakeholders to know how they could rightfully contribute to the welfare of the youth.
A representative from YES Ghana, Mr Eric Saforo said as part of the implementation process, his office had set up a Skills Hub with a well-stocked library, training space, coaching services office and internet café to provide young people with the room to learn and research for job opportunities.
He said they were also collaborating with organisations to provide internship opportunities for beneficiaries of the project.
Mrs Linda K. Agyei, the Director of Vocation Training for Females programme, said to make the project a success, they were embarking on an awareness creation campaign to enlighten people on how TVET and its skills should be development choice that could positively shape their future by giving them sustainable livelihoods.
She gave an assurance that her office would ensure that participants acquired competencies to meet the demands of industry.
The competencies would be acquired through a six-month intensive training for individuals working in hotels, who had never been trained, as well as owners and managers.