Feature: We need jobs, do something: Employment crisis in Ghana

Being able to put food on one’s table as well as taking responsibility has been one of the prime reasons why most people fuse in their exertion and time in job seeking.

In Ghana, each year yields hundreds of graduates. With all the experiences and qualifications, some still end up with no jobs. Sometimes companies completely blank them instead of rejecting their application.

An applicant will have all the requirements necessary to be employed in a company but due to lack of experience, he or she gets rejected. Meanwhile, freshly graduated students are also competing with their predecessors who spent years searching for the same job or position.

Statistically, the unemployment rate in Ghana is approximately 4.65 percent.The youth are pleading with the government to do as they promised in some of their policies.

Some of the ongoing criminal activities are frustratingly done by graduates who have spent years at home with no jobs. They turn to use their acquired knowledge negatively and this one way or the other affects the country. Hunger can sometimes forcibly trigger one to act maliciously.

Compounding the problem further, the primary reason is that, the applicants spend years relying on the same kind of job at an institution. After failing, he or she is then forced to change the direction of his or her career.

Other people advised that, graduates should acquire crafting skills so that they can be self-employed.

This has been the plan B of lots of graduates. Some students with good certifications end up becoming hawkers and sometimes traders at the market or street,  some also engage themselves in illegal mining (Galamsey) which is also another canker the nation is fighting against.

An impoverished CV or resume is also another tremendous reason why graduates with good education and experience still fail to stand out. Others assume that the application system for some firms is becoming increasingly intense due to the growing number of entry-level.

A job meant for the public now becomes a family system job. A graduate with no relations to the manager of a particular firm or organization is not given any opportunity to be employed.

Also, others take advantage of their employees, especially female graduates. Some employer request pleasure from these before they employ them.

More than half of female graduates have been through this. Those who ignore the requests, later on, get no employment. This has made lots of graduates lost hope.

The current state of the economy in the country is the daily talk of almost all Ghanaians. It hindered the chances of the Ghanaian youth as well as graduates in securing jobs. The government promised to provide the nation with employment opportunities.

Bribes are mostly taken from job seekers and in return, they get jobs and positions they are not entitled to.

This hurdles the chances of a more deserving candidate from getting employed and also becomes tough for skilled graduates with no funds to secure a job at such an organization.

Most Ghanaians believe that it is the government’s responsibility to provide job opportunities for the youth as they always promise in their policies during campaigns.

One would also blame the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Russia-Ukraine war for demoting the country’s economy. This has triggered the job crisis in the nation.

Agencies are compelled to shut down leaving the citizens in a dilemma. Graduates whose dream is to move and work in Russia or Ukraine are also forced to stay and look for an alternative.

Unemployment in Ghana is also as a result of the old people in various organizations and institutions refusing to go on retirement. This has been one of the major challenge we have in Ghana.

Retired officials who refuse to resign from their positions are also making it difficult for graduates to get jobs. Because of the power and authority they have, they are not easy to be replaced.

Some community leaders with good connections are not willing to help these graduates.

NABCO beneficiaries also face a lot of challenges. This makes majority of them quit the program and switch to other ways.

The reason behind this is that, they don’t get paid the way they are suppose to. Some even complain that they do not retain them after they are done working for an organization with the time period given to them.

Margret Nkrumah, who is  a member of  NABCO said “I was hoping to be retained at my work place as a NABCO member who was posted at Ministries. But unfortunately I wasn’t retained and am still at home unemployed “.

Also in an speaking with Jonathan Oppong who is also a member of NABCO, he also mentioned that, “I was given a job at parliament to do for a period of time but when my time was due, I wasn’t maintained leaving me jobless for three years now”.

In another case,  the courses some of these graduates read during their period in the university one way or the other, has a low job opportunity. They move from places to places searching for jobs with degrees of the course they read but end up with lower probabilities of getting employed.

This make them go into jobs they have no experience and in the long round, the will not be productive or they be less productive to the company or organization and the Nation as well.

Graduates often protest with the aim of convincing the government to assist them in job opportunities.

They struggled to pass SHS exam, they struggled to get into the tertiary, they struggled to graduate from the tertiary and now they are struggling to get jobs.

The worst part is that, some of these unemployed graduates have student debts to deal with. This large number of unemployed graduates in the country is a wasted resource that the country’s economy should be making use of.

By Matilda Tabri, Student, GIJ 


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