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Sat, Oct

Let’s tame the unemployment time bomb

President Akufu-Addo

Finding jobs for the teeming unemployed youth has become a herculean task that sometimes becomes a national security issue.

Over the years, the state has been producing graduates who consistently find it difficult to get or secure jobs.

Indeed, job creation was one of the flagship campaign promises during the 2016 elections, with almost all the political parties coming up with juicy promises to create the needed jobs for Ghanaians.

The New Patriotic Party (NPP), in particular, proposed many schemes that would create jobs for the people.

Seven months into its administration, the government is saddled with the heavy responsibility of absorbing a number of unemployed graduates into the public sector.

Lately, graduate unemployment has become a phenomenon culminating in the formation of an association with privately trained nurses, teachers and graduates of colleges of agriculture holding the neck of the government to employ them.

Many reasons account for this socio-economic challenges, which pre-dates the many decades of not prioritising the country’s educational curricula and job needs.

Currently, the public sector is estimated to be employing more than 700,000 people.

On the front page of the Daily Graphic yesterday, public and private institutions accredited to train nurses in Ghana were asked to reduce their intake by almost 1,600 this year.

Relatedly, the Senior Minister, Mr Yaw Osafo-Maafo, at the opening ceremony of the sixth Ghana Economic Forum organised in Accra last Tuesday, also disclosed that the Ghanaian economy, as it was that day, could not support new employment opportunities in the public sector, as it was choked.

He argued that the solution to the country’s graduate unemployment problem was a vibrant private sector.

Resolving the problem requires right-thinking approaches and innovative measures to overcome what many people have described as “a time bomb waiting to explode” in our faces.

The time is ripe to adopt practical approaches and steps to secure jobs for the teeming unemployed or get/help them to establish their own jobs.

This is not the time to play partisan politics with the sensitive issue of helping the many unemployed Ghanaians, especially the youth, to find jobs.

The Daily Graphic has always argued that presently Ghana’s economy is too small to accommodate the near population explosion.

Today, the country can boast more than 20 public universities and about 70 private universities that train graduates every year.

The National Service Scheme for the next service year is expected to release about 91,000 service personnel for service in the public and private sectors.

Next year this group of service personnel will be looking for jobs in the public sector and we all know that that will be a tall order.

The Daily Grahic asks all to drop their partisan garb and confront the uneployment issue from a nationalistic point of view.

The situation appears explosive and we must scale this landmine.