Entrepreneurs, budding talents and trained artisans are expected to be connected directly to job opportunities via a new platform that is to be outdoored by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) in April.
CEO, Justin Kodua Frimpong, speaking at this year’s International Youth Empowerment Summit (IYES) in Kumasi said: “We will introduce the YEA Job Centre and the Artisan Directory. The Job Centre will be an exciting platform that will connect our youth to various opportunities in the country. It will also lead in the area of providing training and capacity building opportunities for the youth. This exciting platform will be launched by the end of April this year”.
He explained that the YEA is strategically shifting its focus from the social protection phase into an incubation centre for young talents and entrepreneurs to nurture and acquire further skills to create jobs for their other young compatriots.
“It has also become increasingly important to make the job market work better for first-time job seekers. While this will bring us back to the age-old debate of a mismatch between academia and jobs, it is an existing reality that a certain number of reported opportunities for employment remain vacant, because there are no young people with appropriate knowledge and skills,” Mr. Kodua Frimpong noted.
The Artisan Directory is an innovative platform that will connect trained artisans to the marketplace.
“This platform falls in line with the president’s vision of placing technical and vocational skills at the heart of our development. I would therefore encourage my brothers and sisters gathered here to regularly visit the YEA website to monitor the opening of our job portal, and take the necessary steps to benefit from the opportunities that will be announced,” he said.
The YEA, in this regard, has over the years collaborated with various partners and developed and implemented a number of interventions leading to the recruitment and placement of thousands of young Ghanaians in the following areas: community health, community education, community policing and other security-related areas, agriculture extension, and sanitation.
“The youth of today will represent the success or failure of this country in the years to come. Therefore, our actions and inactions, commissions and omissions yesterday and today will definitely determine what becomes of us tomorrow.”
The 2012/2013 Ghana Living Standard Survey reported that around 250,000 young Ghanaians seek entry into the labour market annually.
Only 2% are absorbed into the formal sector, while the 98% seek employment opportunities in the informal sector or remain unemployed.
The rise in youth unemployment and underemployment is associated with high social and economic costs, and also threatens the very fabric of the Ghanaian society. Failure on the part of governments to create enough decent jobs is likely to result in long-lasting effects on the socio-economic development of Ghana.