Young graduates must be entrepreneurial

BY: Salomey Appiah-Adjei
Professor Ato Essuman, MAIN Picture: Partcipants at the event. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR
Professor Ato Essuman , MAIN Picture: Partcipants at the event. Picture: GABRIEL AHIABOR

The Director of the Institute of Education and Entrepreneurship (IEE) at the Methodist University College of Ghana (MUCG), Professor Ato Essuman, has underscored the country’s need to design curricula in education that are relevant to the skills and needs of the job market.

He said currently, most graduates from the tertiary level went to the job market with little skills which were also irrelevant to industry and thus required employers to retrain them before they were employed.

He was of the view that the gap  in competencies in industry could only be reduced or closed through collaboration between academia and industry if jobs are to become easily available for graduates after school.

The objective

Prof. Essuman was speaking on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of a week-long programme dubbed, “Global Entrepreneurship Training (GET)”, organised by Handong University of SouthKorea and hosted by the MUCG.

The GET programme is sponsored by UNESCO and is usually held in developing countries. It has the intention of offering prospective global leaders in developing countries, the opportunity to experience and learn about entrepreneurship.

Through the programme, students are expected to learn the basic skill set necessary to start a new business, note the similarities or differences between their plans and that of others in their class and have the chance to network with students from other countries for possible multinational ventures in the future.

Entrepreneurship mindset

According to Prof. Essuman, what was taught in tertiary institutions could only become relevant to the economy if it was put to good use, adding that “we need to produce what the labour market requires”.

He said entrepreneurship ought to be taught from the primary through to the tertiary level as means of instilling the mindset of entrepreneurship in the younger generation.

“We have to start by introducing entrepreneurship early at the primary level so that by the time they are in the university, they would’ve had experience and would be capable of creating their own businesses,” he said.

He said It was for that reason that the MUCG was collaborating with Handong University to promote and train students in entrepreneurship and have them generate ideas and recognise business opportunities.

He said the training programme would hopefully serve as a detonator in developing countries to help address the nagging issue of youth and graduate unemployment.

Driving force

Earlier, the President of Handong University, Mr Soon Heung Chang, had said entrepreneurship was the main engine and driving force by which developing countries could catch up with the developed nations.

“The entrepreneurship mindset of the people was the catapult that propelled the now developed countries into their current position. It is the engine that sustains them in the frontal position where they are now,” he stated.

The GET programme, he said, was to help develop in the minds of the younger generation in developing countries an entrepreneurship mindset to allow them to change the narrative of under development.

He said ever since the inception of the GET programme in 2008, there had been more than 30 sessions held in 12 different countries in four continents around the world.

Subsequently, he said, the sessions had produced more than 3,000 graduates so far of which some were already contributing towards development in their respective countries.

He urged the participants in the training programme to take the sessions seriously and strive to become creative global entrepreneurs who would contribute to developing Ghana and Africa as a whole.