Participants at a day?s workshop on ?Highlighting the Skills Gap in the Ghanaian Financial Industry? organized by the University Of Ghana Business School have underscored the need for academia and industry to effectively collaborate to address the existing gaps.
They stressed that it was up to both academia and industry players to help in resolving the issue or gaps that they had identified during the workshop.
The workshop was aimed at identifying the skills gaps that in the financial industry in Ghana.
Prof Joshua Yindenaba Abor, the Dean of the University of Ghana Business School, said outcomes from the workshop as well as engagements with industry would be compiled into annual reports which would be distributed to the stakeholders and also to government to provide policy direction.
The report would review developments and performance of businesses across the various sectors.
?Basically we?re interested in contributing to policy discourse in terms of addressing some of the major challenges confronting businesses across the various sectors of the economy,? he said.
?The difference between our annual reports and what is already out there is that we would focus on more micro level issues like managerial issues, operational issues, CSR and others and how they impact on society.?
The working sessions identified four key gaps among others that persisted in the industry, which they urged participants, especially universities to endeavour to address.
The first of these was a gap in the communication skills of the prospective graduates from the universities.
They said most of these graduates did not have good communication skills, both written and oral, a problem which affected their search for employment and their subsequent performance on the job.
The second important gap identified was the lack of presentation skills and the inability of prospective employee to present their ideas and thoughts in an understandable and professional manner.
They therefore recommended that courses on all aspects of communication be taught throughout the duration of the degree and their presentation skills assessed and fine-tuned.
Another issue that came up strongly in the discussions was the lack of analytical skills by graduates who come out of universities.
This, they said may be caused by the academia spoon feeding students and not challenging them to be analytical in their thinking and approach to the answering of examination questions and other academic assignments.
Other gaps identified included lack of practical experience on the part of students.
They called for collaboration between industry and academia in the area of internship placements for students.
They said organizations must be ready to open up their doors for students to undertake internships in order to gain some practical experience.
Academia must also work with the organizations to ensure that their students actually practice and learn during the internship period.