DATA FROM various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) has put the total number of jobs created by the Akufo-Addo-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration at 5,206,899 between 2017 and 2021.
Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment, who disclosed this Thursday during the launch of the 2022 Ghana Job Fair Green Edition in Sunyani, themed, “Connecting Talents and Opportunities”, said these jobs were created in both the formal and informal sectors.
Mr. Awuah noted that due to the nature of these jobs, government is working assiduously with relevant partners to ensure that these become income-secured with social security benefits and conform to decent work standards.
“We are also working that these jobs promote social protection and promote the rights of workers, among other work standards. In this day and age, we cannot have jobs that deliver wages below the prevailing national minimum wage, so everything is being done to ensure that the above jobs are guaranteed and permanent,” he assured.
Addressing the youth who thronged the venue with the hope of getting jobs, the minister explained that the job fair is anchored on creating prosperity and equal opportunity for all.
“It is a platform for job seekers to acquire the needed skills and tools for enhancing their employability,” he said, adding that the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations is ready to create an enabling environment for stakeholders to create jobs for the youth.
The Employment Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for Sunyani West, revealed that since the inception of the job fair in 2018, out of 10,000 people who participated, 47 per cent were job seekers while 39 per cent were looking for training opportunities in entrepreneurship, as 14 per cent were in search of employable skills.
The job fair is organised by the German Development Corporation (GIZ), Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, the Youth Employment Agency and the Labour Department of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
Giving statistics about the country’s unemployment rate, the Country Director of GIZ, Regina Barbosa, noted that the 2021 figures from the Ghana Statistical Service showed that Ghana has 9.6 per cent unemployment rate, with 33 per cent unemployment rate among young adults (15-24).
There is therefore the need to invest more in practical and transferable skills such as Information Technology, Digital and TVET to equip young people with requisite competences for employment and entrepreneurship.
Ms. Barbosa also disclosed that since the job fair started, about 5,000 job seekers have been placed in gainful employment.
With this year’s fair which is taking place in Accra and Sunyani simultaneously as well as Kumasi and Tamale on September 26-27, there are about over 2,000 vacancies to be filled by job seekers.
“It is my hope that job seekers will take advantage of this skills upgrading seminars and use the opportunity to have their CVs reviewed by seasoned Human Resource professionals, consultants and employers so that they can fill the vacancies available,” she added.
Chief Executive Officer of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Kofi Agyepong, however lamented though there are vacancies at various work places, the real skills employers were looking for were absent.
“Therefore, the new focus of my agency is to strictly engage in skills training and acquisition to provide employable skills to the youth to fill these vacancies,” he said.