The World Bank in its latest report on jobs in Ghana has revealed that about 48 percent of the youth in the country, who are between 15-24 years do not have jobs.
The report dubbed the “Landscape of Jobs in Ghana,” explores the opportunities for youth inclusion in Ghana’s labour market.
“In Ghana, youth are less likely than adults to be working: in 2012, about 52% of people aged 15-24 were employed (compared to about 90% for the 25-64 population), a third were in school, 14% were inactive and 4% were unemployed actively looking for job. Young women in the same age group are particularly disadvantaged and have much higher inactivity rates that men: 17% of young female are inactive as opposed to 11% of males,” the report added.
It recommended that government must work towards equipping the youth with relevant skills through the educational system.
The lead researcher and a Senior Economist with the World Bank, Sara Johansson, during the launch of the report, said the youth in the country will be in a better position to get or create jobs, if their educational foundation is right.
“Ghana has been able to increase access to education now the issue is how to go to the next dimension and ensure that, that is quality education. Because the skills you have at the end of secondary education, it’s not maybe such a big problem if you don’t have a labour market relevant skill then you need to be able to acquire it.”
“For that, you need to have basic skills. So the question is have you learnt that in school and I think this is the issue that Ghana needs to be looking out now; so how can we make sure that people are prepared to learn more because what you learn in school is how you learn better. If you can’t read very well and not used to learning situation, you are not going to be able to pick up job technical skills either.”
The report further states that young women in the country are particularly disadvantaged and have much higher job inactivity rates than their male counterparts. 17% of young females are inactive as opposed to 11% of males.
The World Bank estimates that youth between 15-24 will peak in the coming decade raising concerns about the preparedness of the country’s economy to deal with the youth bulge.
Gov’t created over 600,000 jobs
The World Bank report comes on the back of the NDC government’s claim that it has created over 600,000 jobs in the last four years.
According to government, close to 96,000 others have also been trained to create their own jobs.
Ghana’s growth rate not creating jobs
But, Campaign Coordinator of the Third World Network, Dr. Yao Graham, has dismissed government’s claim that it has created thousands of jobs through its economic management and infrastructural development programmes.
He said “many of the business associations are on record telling us some of the challenges they face. Creating a productive enterprise for example in manufacturing and agriculture which is producing for domestic consumption, it’s very difficult because policies are biassed in favour of those who are producing for exports.”
Unemployment high in urban centres
The Ghana Living Standards Survey for the year 2012/2013 however states that the unemployment rate in the country “is marginally higher for females (2.0%) than males (1.6%) and higher in urban areas (3.5%) than in rural areas (0.8%).”
The survey estimates that 250,000 young men and women enter the Ghanaian labour market every year with only 2% absorbed in the formal sector whilst the 98% seek employment in the informal sector or remain unemployed.
It adds that 98.1% of “Ghana’s working population – 10, 517,394 – are employed; putting unemployment at 1.9%. Among the age groups, the rate of unemployment is highest within the 15 to 24 age cohort (3.2%); males (3.3%), females (3.0%) and urban (7.2%).”