JA Ghana and PMI Africa launch city-wide Job Shadowing programme in Accra


Junior Achievement (JA) Ghana, in partnership with Project Management Institute (PMI) Africa and the All-Africa Students Union (AASU), has announced a Job Shadowing programme to be held between April & December 2024. The programme provides one-day shadowing experiences in which university students from across the city will be able to shadow professionals as they go about their daily work. It is designed to bridge academic theories and real-world applications.

Job shadowing offers students a rare glimpse into various professions, allowing them to observe at close quarters and learn from the professionals they are “shadowing.” It gives students first-hand knowledge of job responsibilities, tasks, and workplace culture. 

The JA Job Shadow programme presents an invaluable opportunity for young individuals to acquire practical experience, expand their professional network, and enhance their competitive stance in the job market. Simultaneously, it allows businesses to contribute to the industry by mentoring talented students.

PMI Africa’s Youth and Academic Lead, Joanna Baidu, says, “Deciding on a career can be daunting, filled with uncertainties about which one would lead to success and satisfaction. While students gain extensive knowledge about various careers in the universities, the actual realities of a chosen profession can still be surprising.”

“This programme furnishes students with a crucial preview of the working world, empowering them with the information needed to make informed career choices.”

Companies that can assign mentors/volunteers for a day (8 hours) are invited to participate as hosts in this transformative programme. There is no cap on the number of students a company can welcome, allowing businesses of all sizes to make a significant impact. Companies can also choose to participate virtually.

On registration, companies will be strategically paired with students who have expressed interest in their specific industry. This matching process ensures students are placed in an environment that aligns with their career aspirations, maximising the learning experience. 

“By opening their doors to these future professionals, businesses not only enhance their community engagement but also contribute to shaping the industry’s next generation of leaders. This collaboration will not only enrich the student’s educational journey but also position companies as pivotal contributors to workforce development, says Abeiku Greene, Executive Director, JA Ghana. 

Although participation in the program is free for both companies and candidates, companies are encouraged to provide candidates with a stipend to cover travel and meal expenses. This support helps to ensure that all participants can engage fully without the burden of additional costs.

‘PMI’s Talent Gap report underscores the need for 2.3 million new entrants into project management each year till 2030. This programme allows students to see that these skills can be efficiently acquired through certification, bypassing the need to commit to another four-year degree. For employers, the programme provides an avenue to build awareness of the skills the business will need in the near to mid-term,” says Baidu. 

This program aims to bridge the gap between education and employment and empower students to make strategic career choices, fostering a better-prepared workforce for the future.

The African Development Bank highlights that although about 10 to 12 million youth enter the workforce annually, only three million formal jobs are created annually, leaving many facing underemployment or unemployment. This issue is exacerbated by a lack of real-world experience among graduates, often a critical requirement for potential employers.

“Job shadowing is a powerful tool in combating underemployment, as it equips students with first-hand knowledge of the skills required for their chosen careers. They gain a clear vision of their future, which is crucial for making informed career decisions,” adds Greene.  

“We invite industry leaders, educational institutions, and community organisations to join us in this exciting venture. By supporting the Job Shadow programme, you are investing in the future of our youth and Africa’s economic development. Together, we can create a robust platform for the young talents of Africa to grow, succeed, and lead.”

The anticipated benefits of this program are manifold. By fostering direct links between education and industry, the job shadow initiative will enhance employability and motivate students to pursue further education and training in identified areas of interest.

Furthermore, it allows employers to engage with potential future employees, thereby playing a direct role in shaping the emerging workforce.

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