To contribute to formal youth employment in decent work by 2022, Plan International Ghana, in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, on Tuesday launched the Pathways for Sustainable Employment for Women and Youth in Ghana (PASEWAY) project.
The project is being implemented in the construction industry in the Greater Accra and Northern regions and in the hospitality sector in the Ashanti Region with various interventions to provide 4,050 young people with skills to find employment or set up their own businesses.
The partners are Youth Empowerment Synergy (YES) Ghana, Vocation Training for Females (VTF) Foundation, and Regional Advisory Information Network System (RAINS).
Mr Solomon Tesfamariam, the Country Director of Plan International Ghana, said a study conducted by the New Partnership for Africa's Development in 2017 found that by 2030, nearly 440 million young people would find themselves on the African labour market.
He said it was, therefore, important to educate, prepare and give the right opportunities to women and the youth to contribute to achieving a better Ghana and place the Continent at the centre of the global economic system.
“We know that technical and vocational education and training is a powerful vehicle for equipping young people with employment and entrepreneurial skills. In fulfilment of the SDG-8, which calls for decent work and economic growth, there is the need for rapid paradigm shift towards transformative training systems to develop the Knowledge, skills and creativity needed to secure the future of our young people,” he said.
Mr Tesfamariam said among the challenges TVET faced were low esteem, low appreciation, and low appeal, with its potentials not well recognised nor properly valued.
He appealed to the partnering organisations to dedicate themselves to working towards attaining more resources and materials to aid in the implementation of the project.
Mr Ignatious Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, in a keynote address read on his behalf, said a report published by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research in March, 2017, revealed that only 10 per cent of graduates found jobs within one year of completing their national service.
It took up to 10 years for a large number of graduates to secure decent employment as a result of varied challenges ranging from lack of employable skills, low capacity of industry to absorb the growing labour force, and poor attitude of the graduates towards job opportunities, the report indicated.
The Minister said available data obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service showed that both the public and private sectors would not be able to generate jobs in the required numbers to absorb the growing labour force.
He, therefore, advised the beneficiaries to seize the opportunity to transform their lives, as employment opportunities were limited, especially during this COVID-19 period.
Mr Nelson Owusu-Ansah, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer, (Programmes & Operations), National Youth Authority, said the Authority was pleased of the project to move from the traditional way of training people, where they were afterwards left to their faith, to where they would be prepared for the job market.
He said the Authority was going to spearhead the introduction of a new National Youth Policy, accompanied by an implementation plan to enable stakeholders to know how they could rightfully contribute to the welfare of the youth.
“….I urge civil society organisations and all stakeholders to look at TVET in a more pragmatic way,” he said.
Mr Eric Saforo, a representative from YES Ghana, said as part of the implementation process, his office had set up a Skills Hub with a well-stocked library, training space, coaching services office and internet café to provide young people with the room to learn and research for job opportunities.
He said they were also collaborating with organisations to provide internship opportunities for beneficiaries of the project.
Mrs Linda K. Agyei, the Director of Vocation Training for Females programme, said to make the project a success, they were embarking on an awareness creation campaign to enlighten people on how TVET and its skills should be development choice that could positively shape their future by giving them sustainable livelihoods.
She gave an assurance that her office would ensure that participants acquired competencies to meet the demands of industry.
The competencies would be acquired through a six-month intensive training for individuals working in hotels, who had never been trained, as well as owners and managers.
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