The job conundrum: Evaluating the Youth Employment Program in Ghana

Unemployment has become a virus derailing the Employment fiber in the country. In today’s rapidly evolving job market, Ghanaians often find themselves facing a conundrum when it comes to employment. Past governments and the incumbent government have put in place several interventions to surmount unemployment but still needs attention.

I have been contemplating on this puzzle for a while now, and need to be vindicated.
Do we apportion blame on the government for the alarming rate of unemployment annually or do individuals also have a role to play?? According to the Ghana Statistical Service, the total population of Ghana as of now is over 30 million. In the light of population, research states that the recorded population of Nigeria in the year 2021 is over 213 million. In relation, the population of the United States of America is over 331 million. China has been ranked as the second country which is densely populated with over 1.4 billion people.

Incredibly, these underscored countries have higher population rates yet more job opportunities for the citizenry. Are these countries better than this great nation?? Absolutely no. Nature has been kind to us enough with all the natural resources gotten and other resources nonetheless utilising them is another problem of the day.

The minister of finance recently announced that graduates will not secure jobs because “payrolls are full”. Is there life after university?? What happens to youths who have spent a minimum of 3 years in tertiary institutions hoping to be employed after graduating only to be dismayed by zero job opportunities? Research shows that over 700, 000 graduates are unemployed in Ghana now and will escalate if measures are not put in place to curb this menace.

Those who are not able to withstand the frustration of society tend to indulge in social vices such as prostitution, drug abuse robbery, and other deviant behaviors that also have prolonged effects on the nation.

It is disheartening to see that education in Ghana has become a “calling”. If you are not willing to sacrifice, then don’t get enrolled… This dilemma has dissuaded Ghanaians, especially the youth in education.
On the other hand, enrolling in school in recent times is redundant, since there are no job opportunities. The Youth Employment Agency in partnership with the government and other stakeholders have initiated policies that can alleviate the unemployment rate in the County. These policies have not been achieved due to some hurdles..

The Youth Employment Agency was established under the Youth Employment Act 2015 (Act 887) to empower young people to contribute meaningfully to the socio economic and sustainable development of the nation through skills training.

Its programs offer opportunities to youths who possess the skills (vocational and technical) to also play a role in nation-building.

To have a robust youth Employment programme in Ghana, there is a need for skills development and training. Opportunities should be given to the youths engrossed in entrepreneurship .

However, it is also pertinent to consider Collaboration and Partnerships.
Collaboration with various stakeholders, including government agencies, private sector organizations, and civil society groups, is essential for the success of the youth employment program. This ensures a coordinated and holistic approach to addressing youth unemployment challenges.
In addition, job placement and support is also a crucial element. The programme should facilitate job placements for youths through job fairs and internship initiatives. Mentorship programme can also be assimilated to serve as a path to a successful job discourse.

Likewise, an effective youth employment programme will not be achieved when the target population is ignored. The programme should identify the target audience it aims to support. Is it graduates, school leavers, or the youths in general??

The future can be great with an effective youth employment programme, alleviating poverty and unemployment crisis in Ghana.

Feature by: Francisca Nanaba Amoako

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