INCLUDE Platform

After a successful phase of the African Policy Dialogues in Ghana on youth employment creation, INCLUDE Platform funded a second phase in collaboration with the African Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET). During the first phase, youth employment creation agenda was raised from the media rhetoric to policy makers and political particles that were campaigning for the 2016 elections. Two national dialogues with key actors including political parties and consensus was reached on labour market challenges that needed to be addressed. Notably, employment creation was a major agenda in political campaigns, and one of the political particles titled their manifesto “Change: An agenda for jobs”.

The second phase of the dialogues sought to establish how the government was implementing employment creation policies which has been emphasized during electoral campaigns, how the strategies were likely to translate into jobs and any challenges in the process. To guide dialogues during this phase, ACET published a Background Paper on “Youth unemployment and joblessness challenge in Ghana: Revisiting the issues”. The Paper reiterates high youth unemployment and joblessness as a major policy issue in Ghana just like in many other countries in Africa. Other highlights of the Background Paper are shown below.

Stylized facts about Youth Unemployment in Ghana

  • Youth unemployment rate is higher among youth aged 15-24 (15.3%) than younger adults aged 25-35 years (7.8%).
  • Youth unemployment rate is higher among the educated than the less educated.
  • Higher unemployment rates are reported among graduates in social sciences, agriculture and humanities and lower among those with degrees in education and STEM.

Factors contributing to high unemployment

  • Low rate of employment creation because the country’s economic growth has generally emanated from sectors that do not generate sufficient jobs especially the extractive sector and financial services.
  • Very few graduates enter the labor market with skills and knowledge in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) that are relatively in high demand in the labor market.

Some employment creation interventions

  • Skill Training and Employment Placement (STEP) programme (2002-2004).
  • National Youth Employment Programme (NYEP), now Youth Employment Agency (YEA) initiated in 2006.
  • Youth Enterprise Support (YES), now National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) launched in 2014.
  • Current government’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) manifesto titled “Change: An agenda for jobs” whose policies are anchored on “One district one factory; planting for food and job; One village, one dam; and Nation Builders Corps”.

Issues for Discussion

  • Whether to focus on “jobs” or “employment”
  • Key constraints to job creation or employment generation
  • Relationship between the country’s education system and changing labour markets
  • Impacts of the government’s employment creation interventions
  • Up to date and appropriate employment and labour market data

Read the entire Background Paper here

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