World Bank Report Calls For More Investments in Work-based Learning  

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations delivering Keynote Address

Accra, Ghana, September 29, 2020//-A latest report released by World Bank today called for more investments in career work-based learning, coaching, mentoring, and guidance and counseling to equip young people with the skills needed for work.

The report titled-‘Youth Employment Programs in Ghana: Options for Effective Policy Making and Implementation’, which was launched in Accra through a virtual event, also identified agribusiness, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, construction, tourism and sports as key sectors that could offer increased employment opportunities for Ghanaian youth.

The report suggests that although these are not new areas, the government could maximize their impact by scaling-up these priority areas in existing youth employment interventions and improve outreach to the youth.

Speaking at the virtual launch, Ghana’s Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah said: “This report is another milestone towards addressing the unemployment challenge” in the West African country.

“It presents specific options to guide the government in the short to medium-term to enhance effective coordination of youth employment programs”, he added.

Mr Awuah therefore called for a strong collaboration among the Ghanaian government, academia and development partners including the World Banks to help solve the unemployment canker in the country.

Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries.

Despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.

To tackle youth unemployment, the report highlights the importance of having disaggregated data on youth jobseekers by location, gender, skills and capabilities to inform policy and funding decisions and respond with appropriate and tailored employment programs.

In his welcome address, the World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Pierre Frank Laporte, noted: “Ghana’s youth employment challenge is vast and requires an all-round, deliberate, and consistent response”.

“Considering the options outlined in this report, future youth employment policy planning should not only address youth unemployment but should also build the human capital needed to sustain Ghana’s economy.”

Mr Laporte used the occasion to call for the inclusion of the vulnerable youth especially disabled ones in the job creation agenda of the government.

In a panel discussion, Dr Nana Akua Anyidoho, Director of the Centre for Social Policy Studies and Senior Fellow at the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) both at the University of Ghana; William Senyo, Co-Founder & CEO of Impact Hub Accra; and Madam Hannah Ashiokai Akrong, Director of Human Resource at Vodafone Ghana, agreed with the findings and recommendations of the report.

Reviewing the report on behalf of her colleague authors, Christabel E. Dadzie, Social Protection Specialist at World Bank Ghana, stressed the need for greater collaboration among different stakeholders to reduce duplication and fragmentation of youth employment programming.

This report is accompanied by an inventory of public job programs in Ghana to inform policy makers and stakeholders on the existing landscape of youth employment programming.

The authors lay out key priorities to promote youth employment in Ghana:

  • Importance to align formal education programs and skills development initiatives in the context of a fast-changing labor market that requires new and different skill sets, and to adapt to new technology.
  • Partner with the private sector—such as involving employers in the design of training curricula and introducing certifications for occupational standards in order to adapt to the future of work.
  • Integrate pre-employment support activities as part of the country’s current education system to better prepare young people for the transition to work.
  • Promote social inclusion initiatives to improve access to credit and management training for women entrepreneurs, as well as improve both infrastructure and equipment available for persons living with disabilities and ensure that no one is left behind.

The two authors of the report are-Mawuko Fumey, Consultant; and Suleiman Namara, Senior Social Protection Economist at the World Bank Ghana office.

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