The National Information Technology Agency (NITA) has urged players in the ICT industry to lend a collaborative hand to academia in developing the Country’s workforce.
Togbe Kwasinyi Agyeman V., Head of Corporate Affair, NITA, said their support could come in the form of scholarship and award schemes in the tertiary institutions.
Togbe Agyeman V. made the call at the launch of the Tech Job Fair, 2023 in Accra on the theme: “Leveraging Technology to Create Inclusive and Sustainable Jobs.”
The Fair will bring together companies looking for new talents, on one hand, and job-seeking graduates on the other, to exhibit and fill job openings through an innovative rapid recruitment process.
The 2023 edition, following that of the previous year, will be held on February 22, 2023.
The Head of Corporate Affairs, who spoke on behalf of Mr Richard Okyere-Fosu, Director-General of NITA, said they could also work with academia on curriculum development.
He said they should commit to allocating some budget for some internship programmes within their firms to offer some additional practical and industry exposure to these undergraduates.
“Industry should have the budgetary allocation for research in areas of interest to their companies which is a form of skills development, and the results of this research can feed into brands of these companies,” he added.
He said Ghana had chosen the path to digitalize its economy, and this required a new approach from the traditional way of doing things.
The Head of Corporate Affairs said the government now had employed technology at the core of managing the country, from business registration, tax administration, government procurement, healthcare delivery, and finance sector, among others.
Togbe Agyeman V. said this meant that businesses equally would have to invest in digitalizing their operations to equally plug into the government system as well as remain competitive and reduce their cost of operation.
All these require a new set of skills, from the security man at the company entrance to the board chairman. All must be trained and re-trained with modern-day employable skills.
He said digitalization of the economy presented a whole new world of opportunities to businesses and citizens alike, especially the nation’s teaming youth.
“For us to take full advantage of these opportunities, we require cutting-edge modern-day skill sets,” he added.
Mr Daniel Gowu, Executive Director, Institute of ICT Professionals Ghana, organisers of the Fair said participation in the fair was free and open to all job seekers and companies with ICT-related jobs.
He said companies would have access to a large pool of fresh talent seeking their very first job breakthrough as well as experienced professionals seeking to switch jobs or careers.
“What is significant is that job seekers will be asked to complete an online survey to help match their skills to be exhibited at the fair,” he added.
He said this year’s Tech Job Fair was anticipated to host over 2000 potential jobseekers with 50 institutions, representing the industry.
He said the Tech Job Fair had been adopted as part of the DigiCAP.gh initiative, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via Sequa as part of the Special Initiative Partner Africa with AFOS Foundation, a business-oriented and value-based foundation for international development cooperation, as the implementing partner.
He said before the main event takes place, there shall be several other stakeholder engagements for employers and employees separately.
Mr Prince Ofosu Sefah, Chief Executive Officer for the Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications said the Fair was in line with the government’s agenda to bridge the unemployment gap in the country.
“One of the things I like most about the upcoming Tech Job Fair is the fact that, once again, it is going to create an opportunity for industry players to interface with tech job seekers so they can dialogue on how best tech job vacancies can be filled,” he said.
He assured IIPGH and AFOS Foundation and all partners of the government’s continued support of initiatives such as these.
Madam Hanna Schlingmann, Project Manager AFOS Foundation /DigiCAP.gh said: “We are very optimistic that the young professionals, who have participated in the digiCAP training, have amazing career opportunities ahead of them.
She said with the digiCAP Junior Consultant Programme, the Foundation encouraged young talents to develop an entrepreneurial spirit, so they could become not only well-paid employees but even well-paying employers.