How Ghana’s unemployed youth can be supported by the private sector
As a country with a rapidly growing youthful population, the issue of youth unemployment in Ghana is particularly important.
It has evolved into a critical worldwide issue with far-reaching implications for individuals, communities, and governments.
It not only deprives young people of personal and professional development chances, but it also impedes economic progress and social stability.
The problem is exacerbated by a fast-rising youth population and limited prospects in traditional industries such as agriculture.
Furthermore, the educational system does not always provide young Ghanaians with the skills required to fulfill the demands of the current employment market.
As a result, many young people are unemployed or underemployed, unable to realize their full potential.
Governments, organizations, and educational institutions have all played important roles in tackling this issue, but the private sector has the ability to have a huge influence as well.
This article outlines how the corporate sector may actively support jobless youth and help to create a more fair and prosperous future.
Making Job opportunities available
By implementing different methods and initiatives, the private sector can play a critical role in creating job possibilities for unemployed adolescents.
Businesses may enable young people to become self-sufficient and contribute to the economy by developing employment that is suited to their abilities and objectives.
Internships, apprenticeships, entry-level employment, and prospects for promotion are all included.
Expansion of company operations and investment in new initiatives, which can result in the development of more employment opportunities, as well as mentorship, finance, and partnerships to promote startups and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs).
I will advise the private sector to implement flexible work options, such as remote work or flexible hours, to accommodate the needs and preferences of young employees, as well as to provide workshops and training to improve soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and teamwork, which are important in the workplace.
Offering skills development and training programs
In many cases, youth unemployment is exacerbated by a lack of skills and experience.
The private sector can bridge this gap by investing in training and development programs.
Companies can partner with local schools, vocational institutions, and NGOs to offer workshops, courses, and mentorship programs that equip young individuals with the skills needed for the workforce.
They can offer tailor-made training programs to address specific skill gaps in industries where there is a demand for workers as well as create technology and innovation hubs where youth can access state-of-the-art tools and equipment for skill development.
The private sector might invest in online learning systems that provide jobless youth with accessible and flexible training possibilities.
These platforms might encompass everything from technical skills to personal development and business.
Supporting entrepreneurship and start-ups
Supporting entrepreneurship and start-ups for jobless youth is more than simply an act of corporate social responsibility; it is an investment in the future.
Businesses may enable young people to become successful entrepreneurs by offering financial resources, mentorship, education, and access to networks.
Successful entrepreneurs not only generate job possibilities for themselves but also contribute to economic growth and innovation in their communities.
Collaboration among the commercial sector, government, and educational institutions can help to improve this ecosystem, benefiting society as a whole.
Private-sector companies may help start-ups by becoming their first clients or distributors, giving them a key market entry point.
Private sector entities may build or sponsor incubators and accelerators that provide co-working spaces, networking opportunities, and training resources to assist new entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses.
Investing in Community Development
In Ghana, a number of private-sector initiatives have already had a good influence on youth employment and community development. MTN Ghana has a long history of community development efforts, such as the "Youth Employment and Empowerment Project.
"This program focuses on skill development and job placement for kids in a variety of industries.
The "Bright Future Program" of Unilever Ghana has been significant in boosting business and employment development among young people.
Through its network of partners, it gives training and assistance to prospective entrepreneurs.
By investing in community development projects, the private sector, including businesses of all sizes, can have a significant impact on addressing youth unemployment.
Collaboration between the government and non-governmental organizations
Public-private partnerships are an effective means of combating young unemployment.
Companies in the private sector can work with government agencies and non-governmental groups to produce complete solutions.
These collaborations might include developing job placement programs, supporting educational activities, and developing legislation that encourages young employment.
Youth Employment Agency (YEA): YEA collaborates with private firms to develop work possibilities, provides entrepreneurship training, and assists young people in launching their own businesses.
The National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP) is a government effort that provides training, access to capital, and mentorship to young entrepreneurs.
Initiatives for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an important aspect of current company operations that emphasizes the significance of giving back to society.
In Ghana, where young unemployment remains a major issue, the corporate sector may use its CSR activities to make a significant difference.
Many private-sector businesses have CSR initiatives aimed towards social and community development.
Businesses may have a significant influence on their local communities by linking CSR programs with youth employment aspirations.
This might include sponsoring youth-focused NGOs, funding scholarship programs, or arranging skill-building activities.
The writer is the Lecturer/SME Industry Coach University of Professional Studies Accra