Dr. Ben Ocra, President, Ghana Philanthropy Forum, has encouraged young people to acquire soft skills in evaluation and application of knowledge to meet demands of the job market.
“Memorising facts is less important today. Skills in communication, teamwork and critical thinking are critical for work and life,” he said.
Dr. Ocra, who said this at the Second Mini Girls Summit organised by ANEG Foundation, said young people needed the right mix of skills to thrive with the increasing access to information.
The youth between the ages of 15 and 35 make up about a third -33.5 per cent- of the country’s population.
Dr Ocra noted that although academic skills remained vital, they needed soft skills to be productive citizens.
‘‘Studies show that only about 10 per cent of university students or graduates find jobs one year after completing school. 270,000 graduates are produced every year from public and private universities,” he noted.
Dr Ocran said unfortunately, the graduates entered the job market with different levels of education and with limited or no work experience, which impeded their chances of securing productive and, or formal sector jobs.
He said while unemployment was a challenge among all age groups, its impact was particularly severe among the youth who tended to have higher rates of unemployment and engaged in vulnerable and informal employment.
Dr Ocra said while formal education remained at the core of efforts to build a generation of knowledgeable youth, it was important that parents, teachers and leaders in the society made them appreciate values of life so they could become responsible future leaders.
‘‘It must never elude us that today’s youth represent tomorrow’s leaders and our failure to adequately prepare them for the responsibilities of tomorrow will only propel the country to a downward spiral and a bleak future. The needs of our youth can be summarised as follows: Resources, Mentorship and Good Leadership,” he added and called for concerted efforts to help address the challenges and position the youth for greatness.