Rev. Fr. Richard Opoku Acheampong, the Parish Priest of Corpus Christi Catholic Church at New Tafo, a suburb of Kumasi, is challenging the youth, especially young graduates not to over rely on non existing white colour jobs since the public sector is finding it difficult to absorb all graduates.
According to him, it is time the youth of today become innovative by thinking outside the box after school, when the government is unable to employ them. This, he argued, would ensure that they find something doing instead of relying on or waiting for the government to give them employment.
The Reverend Father, who gave the advice when the students of St. George’s Senior High School, led by their tutors joined the church in worship, observed that as young graduates, it is prudent to believe in oneself and God-given talent and pursue it to accomplish one’s vision in life.
Indeed, youth unemployment has become an albatross hanging on the neck of every government under this Fourth Republican Constitution. Until the early 1990s, every child desirous of pursuing a university education spent seven years in secondary school.
But, with the introduction of the educational reforms by the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) government in 1987, the turnover of students at the secondary school level has hit the roof.
Nowadays, thousands of qualified students are entering the universities each passing year. Almost 90% of these students complete their university education and pass out as graduates. The educational reform has also resulted in the establishment of several private universities, which are similarly turning out thousands of students each year as graduates.
It is, therefore, not surprising that the government, which is the largest employer, is unable to cope with the situation because there is a limit it can go, as far as employment is concerned. Already, the over 500,000 employees on government payroll are paid over 40% of the country’s annual revenue, which is stifling the development of other sectors of the economy.
Under normal circumstances, the private sector should have stepped in to help, but the sheer number of students passing out every year is not giving them any breathing space either.
This is the reason why The Chronicle supports Rev. Fr. Richard Opoku Acheampong’s admonishing of graduates to think outside the box and come out of innovative ideas that will give them employment and for them to also employ others.
This cannot, however, be achievable if the banks also fail to support them. Most of our graduates have ideas on how to set themselves up but the capital to do so is the major constraint.
The Chronicle is, therefore, appealing to the financial institutions to support graduates who come out with innovative ideas that will help in the creation of employment.
The government must also think outside the box and come out with pragmatic programmes that would help to expand the economy and the concomitant creation of jobs for the youth.
The ‘One District One Factory’ policy is an innovative idea that would have catapulted this economy to another level, but the implementation seems to be slow.
Youth unemployment, whether we like it or not, is a major threat to the security of this country, hence all hands must be on the deck in finding a solution to it.