Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, Prof. George Gyan-Baffour has said the need to create decent employment opportunities to absorb a large number of youths churned out every year from the educational institutions cannot be glossed over.
He said the inability of the youth to have opportunities that allow them to hone their skill sets, develop their potentials and talents to realize their aspirations and creates a desperation that threatens their survival and nation-building.
He said available statistics showed that Ghana’s unemployment and underemployment rates were the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.
“It has been estimated that Ghana is faced with a 12% youth unemployment rate and more than 50% underemployment. These rates are higher than the overall unemployment rate in sub-Saharan Africa and pose a challenge to Ghana to provide jobs to employ the youth who graduate from tertiary institutions,” he added.
Prof. Gyan-Baffour, who was addressing the Commission’s 14th National Development Forum at the African Trade House in Accra, observed that the unemployment challenge would intensify if job opportunities remained limited.
He, therefore, called for the need to equip the youth with employable skills and career guidance to reverse the situation.
On his part, the Head of the Department of Economics, University of Ghana, Prof. William Baah Boateng, emphasized the need to develop the talents of the youth in areas such as sports and entertainment in schools to solve the unemployment challenge.
He said that could be done through fierce inter-school competitions at all levels of the educational system as was done previously.
According to him, subjects such as life skills and physical education would equip students with the requisite skills that would enable students to do things for themselves and the nation, therefore, the need to spend more resources on such sectors.