Ofori-Atta worried over industry-academia weak link 

annual growth

As government’s comprehensive and holistic response to employment and job creation remains anchored on the private sector, Finance Minister, Ken Ofori Atta, has expressed worry about chunks of new tertiary and university entrants, enrolling in programmes in sectors with no or little growth in the labour market.

This phenomenon, according to the minister, has remained an obstacle resulting in skill gaps and the private sector’s inability to absorb the numbers.

Mr. Ofori Atta, during the Mid-Year Budget presentation in Parliament yesterday, noted that despite the generally strong performance of Ghana’s economy in recent decades, the issue of employment and jobs for the youth, still persist, adding that the situation has further been exacerbated by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said a recent survey by the Finance Ministry indicates that at least 50 percent of new tertiary institution entrants are enrolling in programmes in sectors with little or no growth in the job market.

Also, 50 percent of local employers report misalignment and skills inadequacy in the market, according to the survey.

Nonetheless, the minister said, government’s pandemic recovery programme and transformational agenda is easing the constraints to enable the private sector expand and provide jobs for the country’s teaming youth.

“In response to these challenges, we are strengthening the links between education and job market stakeholders. We are revitalizing the skills development initiatives under the Ghana Enterprises Agency, NEIP, YEA, and COTVET” Mr Ofori Atta said.

He announced an upcoming plan to enable the private sector to train new recruits at a subsidized government rate.

“We are also feverishly working on a scheme that enables the private sector to train new recruits/entrants at a subsidized rate by government” he added.

Mr. Ofori Atta also announced a ‘One Million jobs initiative’ to aggressively respond to the needs of the country saying: “this is to promote growth in SMEs, support new ventures and stimulate innovation and startups”.

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