According to him, there were many job opportunities that Ghanaian youth could explore but due to lack of technical and vocational expertise, they remain unemployed and burden their families.
The former Trade and Industry Minister was speaking at the launch of Ghana National Job Summit on Wednesday in Accra.
He said, “The nation needs technical hands in areas like the petro-chemical industries for instance but we don’t have technical minds in the country so we end up relying on foreign hands.”
According to him, the economic and social cost of unemployment, long-term unemployment and widespread low quality jobs for the youth continue to rise.
He continued: “Skills mismatch on the youth labour market has become a persistent and growing trend. Over education and over-skilling co-exist with under-education and under-skilling and increasingly with skills obsolescence brought about by long-term unemployment.”
He blamed the educational system for the development, saying “universities set up for pure sciences once ago are now being used for social sciences.”
According to available data, the youth of Ghana constitute approximately 26 per cent of the entire population.
Statistics also indicate that about 250,000 young people enter the labour market annually and the formal sector is just able to engage less than 5000 (2%), leaving about 98 percent to survive in the informal sector, among others.
Mr. Iddrisu stated that the National Job Summit, which is themed, ‘Inclusive growth through the creation of productive employment and decent work for all Ghanaians,’ and slated from 3-4 September, 2014 at the Accra International Conference Center, forms part of efforts by President John Mahama to revive the Ghanaian economy.
He said the summit, which is being organized by his outfit and the International Labour Organization (ILO), seeks to engage relevant stakeholders, think-tanks and social partners on the avenues for job creation in all sectors of the economy, and also share knowledge and best practices on job creation at the national, regional and international levels.
Mr. Iddrisu noted that it will also bring together experts in various industries and give opportunity to some key businesses.
He also noted that the summit would focus on the Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) sector.
National Employment Policy
He disclosed that the highlight of the summit would be the launch of the National Employment Policy (NEP) by President Mahama.
The NEP, he said, “is a document that gives strategic direction for job creation and also spells out the sectoral linkages for effective and efficient coordination of job opportunities for all Ghanaians.”
Meanwhile, he noted that government was going to introduce “the clock method in all public institutions across the country” to ensure punctuality at workplaces.
He said, “MDAs and MMDAs must introduce the clock method to ensure that employees report to work on time. This is to ensure that public sector workers work for the salaries they continue to demand.”
BY Melvin Tarlue