This African Policy Dialogue discussion paper by the Ghana Youth Workgroup presents some insights about youth employment in Ghana, a youthful country with 57% of the population aged less than 25 years, and 35% aged between 15 and 35 years, with young people becoming more educated. The challenge however is that the youth bear the brunt of high unemployment and joblessness and endure poor quality of employment. The educated ones are becoming highly vulnerable to unemployment phenomenon, and thus raising questions about the quality of education and skills training in the country. Below are some key highlights from this paper.
- Young people constitute a potential resource for growth and development if they are gainfully and productively employed.
- Young people with basic or no formal education have low unemployment rates, whereas a larger army of higher educated youth is left unemployed.
- The problem of high youth unemployment rate among the educated has been linked to the program of study in school relative to demand for expertise from those programmes.
- High reservation wage of jobseekers has been identified as one major determinant of unemployment, particularly among educated youth in Ghana.
Factors for youth unemployment
- Slow employment response to economic growth on account of poor growth performance of high labour absorption sectors.
- Increasing number of youth labour amidst limited employment opportunities.
- Poor quality of youth labour and skills mismatch.
- Absence of efficient labour market information system to bring jobseekers and prospective employers together.