20/02/2012 Graduate Unemployment in Ghana Can Not Be an Optical Illusion!!!

University education came to Ghana with the founding of the University of Ghana in 1948 to produce graduates who would take over from expatriate personnel in the civil service and for expansion of the economy, especially to produce teachers for the expansion of the educational system. Jobs were already awaiting fresh graduates, so the term ³Graduate Unemployment´ was nonexistent. Compared to that of non-graduates, the conditions of service of fresh graduates were very attractive. Tuition, boarding and lodging were provided free for undergraduates. These were the circumstances of graduates in the 60s and 70s. The Ministry of Education commissioned a tracer study in 1996 to examine the labour market experience of workers who graduated from the three public Universities in Ghana namely University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, between 1985 and 1994. The objective was to obtain a broad overview of the study programme, employment situation, occupation, and professional career of graduates. The study established that, 71% of graduates¶ sampled found work within five months of completing their National Service; while among the remaining 29% some took more than a year. However, the average waiting period before first appointment declined with succeeding cohorts. The majority of graduates (61%) were employed in the public sector with only 3% working in large companies. About 15% had refused jobs because of low remuneration or a mismatch with their training. Generally, the unemployed among them were the most recent graduates and those who were unwilling to consider jobs in teaching or farming. However the situation has taken a different turn.

Though there have been series of attempts by several civil society groups in the country to draw Governments¶ attention to this social menace and collectively find an antidote to the problem, successive governments have not been able to resolve the problem.

It has been the hope of CODGHA that government would take the matter serious and instituted corrective measures in order to rewrite the unemployment situation in the country. However, it looks like government has forgotten about this nagging national issue. Let us not be like ostriches and burry our head in the sand! The problem persists and it is escalating at an alarming rate. Anyway where are the leaders of the Unemployed Graduate Association of Ghana? As at now, there has not been any clear cut policy instituted to address Graduate Unemployment in the country. For the records, surveys conducted by CODGHA shows that, it now takes averagely two and half Years for a fresh graduate to get his or her name on a pay roll. With

The report indicated that: ³about 33% of Africa¶s Youth. since the International Labour Organization (ILO) had already highlighted the issue of ³educated unemployment´ in its African Employment Report (1990. Since studies to track unemployed graduates in Ghana have not been consistent. especially in the growing sectors of Agriculture. would be unemployed if deliberate action were not taken to create employment´. special tax incentives could be given to companies who employ a certain quota of fresh graduates from Ghanaian Universities. national skill requirements could be estimated for the next ten to twenty years in the various sectors. and Telecommunication. This we believe would limit the pressure on government with respect to graduates seeking to be employed in the public sector. . we are calling on Government to conduct research on the human resource needs of the country and tilt Ghana¶s educational policy towards addressing the findings. 1992 and 1994). mostly the educated youth. Through this survey. Packages like these would increase tremendously the number of new companies that would be set up in the country thereby reducing the unemployment situation in the country.the continuous increase in the number of fresh graduates coming out of our universities. Industry. the waiting period for a graduate to secure employment is likely to shoot up to five years. A national labour database should be set up. For example. Contact us: Coalition for the Development of Ghanaians (CODGHA) Telephone: +233-208428465 Email: info@codghaghana.org. a website could be created where unemployed graduates and partially employed graduates could register in order for the nation to have a true picture on the number of unemployed graduates in the country. This privilege should be made known to undergraduates in their last year in order for them to put themselves into groups so they can be in a better position to access the fund.codghaghana.org Website: www. For instance. Government should create an attractive investor environment which would attract Foreign Direct Investments (FDI¶s). Government should create a special fund where fresh graduates in groups of 5 to10 people can collectively access funds to start up new business ideas they have come up with. partially employed and unemployed in the country. In the interim. to provide current information on the number of people who are fully employed.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful