The World Bank says any effort to address Ghana’s youth unemployment and underemployment challenge must focus on strategic short-medium and long-term responses.
Ms Christabel E. Dadzie in charge of Social Protection and Jobs at the World Bank, said although Ghana had launched a number of initiatives in response to the challenge, the lack of coordination among stakeholders had led to duplication.
Ms Dadzie, speaking at the virtual launch of two World Bank Reports on Youth Employment, observed that, unfortunately, key stakeholders on youth employment including those in the private sector had limited interaction.
The reports are: “Youth Employment Programmes in Ghana: Options for Effective Policy Making Implementation,” and “Ghana Jobs: An Overview of Public Jobs Pogrammes in Ghana.”
The event was on the theme: “Advancing Youth Employment in Ghana: Options and Opportunities.”
The study sought to maximise synergies and rally efforts around a shared approach towards job creation for the Ghanaian youth.
It also aimed to enhance the knowledge available to key stakeholders (researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and the private sector) about the landscape of youth employment programmes in Ghana, engage practitioners to identify real-life challenges and solutions and suggest a coherent approach to programme planning and implementation.
The study proposed systems for effective and sustainable service delivery such as effective monitoring and evaluation and the use of management information systems to assist the Government in its short to medium-term planning.
It called for the need to identify concrete areas for promoting youth employment in Ghana based on global practices.
Ms Dadzie said regular exchanges were important for promoting synergies and reducing duplication of programmes and for sharing knowledge.
She said Ghana lacked a comprehensive database on the characteristics of various categories of youth information, which was essential for the design and implementation of effective programmes.
“Without transformation of the current Ghanaian economic structure, employment opportunities will remain limited,” she said, and asked Government to increase private sector participation in youth skills development and employment programmes as that was critical to the success of such programmes.
“The Government can work with employers through public-private partnership models to improve national systems for workforce development, including the curricula for training providers and national qualification frameworks for skills certification,” Ms Dadzie added.
She said private sector employers could also offer apprenticeship and training programmes tailored for market needs.
The reports recommended interventions in five priority areas that could potentially make an impact.
These are scaling up agriculture and agribusiness, apprenticeship, entrepreneurship, reemployment support services, and high-yielding programmes including renewable energy, construction, tourism, sports, and green jobs.
Mr Pierre Laporte, World Bank Country Director, urged policy makers to make sure to implement the recommendations from the reports to improve on youth development and pledged the Bank’s commitment towards helping Ghana to achieve that.
Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, commended the World Bank Team for the efforts in supporting government to advance issues of youth employment.
He said youth employment was seeing improvement due to some programmes government had initiated including providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.