A new research titled ‘Future of Work’ – a report conducted by the Prince’s Trust International – has revealed that young people in Ghana would most likely choose to set up their own business ahead of careers in big private sector business and government.
According to the report, out of the young people aged 18-35 surveyed in Ghana, 65 percent said setting up their own business was the profession that they would most like to work in – the highest of all countries surveyed. This is in a comfortable lead ahead of working for a large corporation at 54 percent, while public sector jobs trailed with 49 percent.
In an era of COVID-19 influencing exponential growth in digitisation, 97 percent agreed that digital literacy is important to future professional advancement. In similar vein, 98 percent cited life skills such as self-confidence, teamwork and reliability as vital to the future of work and more important than basic schooling and university qualifications, which scored 95 and 87 percentage points respectively.
The research highlighted three key areas central to the future of work for young people: sustainability, future skills and entrepreneurship.
The report shows that 86 percent of young people in Ghana are interested in green jobs such as recycling, environmental work and sustainable agriculture, and are keen to be agents of sustainable change.
This figure was slightly higher for men at 90 percent than women, 81 percent. Similarly, when choosing a company, 95 percent of young Ghanaians say they are interested in its environmental footprint. But despite enthusiasm, further research internationally has shown there is a significant skills gap for those interested in a job within the green or digital economy.
The findings showed a positive outlook toward entrepreneurship among participants, as the pandemic provided the opportunity for many, through necessity and creativity, to develop a ‘side hustle’…seen as a route to financial wealth and stability.
Alongside a focus on sustainable careers, there was a desire from participants to develop life skills that will prepare them for the future of work. In response to the aforementioned findings, Prince’s Trust International is first of all calling for partnership with employers to create entry level jobs in the green sector, with focused educational opportunities.
Secondly, as part of its ‘Generation Stand up Start up’ campaign, Prince’s Trust International is now calling for investment in future skills programmes to prepare young people for the workplace.
Furthermore, with the discovery that currently 26 percent of young people surveyed in Ghana work for themselves, among the highest of the countries in the report, the Prince’s Trust International is committed to supporting this new generation of entrepreneurs with further training and investment.
Again, the ‘Achieve Programme’ delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Africa offers an alternative approach to learning for young people, enabling them to develop their skills and confidence through relevant, engaging and informal learning, in a non-traditional education setting.
In his foreword for the report, President and Founder of the Prince’s Trust International, Prince of Wales, Charles Philip Arthur George said: “Through this report, we are launching a campaign to help support ‘Generation Stand Up, Start Up’. We are calling for partnership and collaboration to meet these ambitions and create more decent, sustainable jobs.
“We want to give more young people the opportunity to develop skills suitable for the world of work. We want to nurture talent and give support to this emerging generation of entrepreneurs. For the future of our world, it is vital that we put young people at the heart of this recovery.”
The ‘Future of Work’ report was commissioned by The Prince’s Trust Group and carried out across eight countries, including Ghana, as well as Canada, Jordan, Kenya, India, Pakistan, the UK and USA. The report seeks to amplify the voices of young people, exploring their hopes and aspirations and the support they need as the world adapts to COVID-19.