The President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS), Mr Mohammed Sadiq Gombilla, has called on the state to scrap the approach in which prospective employers demand some level of working experience from the youth, especially fresh graduates, before employing them.
Mr Gombilla stated that most state institutions and a number of private employers demanded years of working experience from the youth before accepting to employ them and added that such request was compounding the already dire unemployment situation in the country.
"The youth looking for work are unemployed.
How are they expected to get experience?
We all know that experience is got by working, so to place experience before work in the case of the youth is not proper," he said.
Mr Gombilla was speaking in Accra yesterday at the launch of a nationwide campaign dubbed, ‘The Urgent Action on Youth Unemployment,” which is an initiative of the Dynamic Youth Movement of Ghana (DYMOG), a non-governmental organisation focused on mobilising Ghanaian youth for nation building.
The campaign plans to seek support from the Ghanaian youth, civil society, students, media and other key stakeholders such as the Trade Union Congress (TUC), political parties and government to collectively solve the problem of unemployment in the country.
Additionally, it aims at coming out with “youth friendly” proposals that are pragmatic and focused on the youth involved in agriculture, sports, show business, tourism and transport.
The campaign is in three phases: launch, awareness creation and interactions with youth on campuses and communities throughout the month of February and finally processions in March to climax the campaign.
Mr Gombilla urged the government to establish a system with sustainable structures to train and retrain the youth and have them prepared adequately for the job market.
The convener of the group, Mr Edward Tuttor, maintained that youth unemployment was a threat to their existence, which was why the DYMOG was resolved to have the issue addressed.
“We are doing this to demonstrate that the Ghanaian youth is not lazy.
We have great ideas and would like our leaders to know that with the right structures in place we shall perform amazingly,” he said.
Meanwhile, a professor at the Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies with the University of Ghana, Professor Kojo Gavua, said the problem of unemployment persisted because the educational system focused too much on theory and good grades.
He called on educational institutions at all levels to revise their curricular and encourage and motivate the youth to be innovative and entrepreneurial in their thinking.
He also advised the youth to be creative in thought and take the initiative to establish their own jobs even while in school so they would not look up to anybody for work after school.
“Let us approach the issue of youth unemployment with teamwork by having everyone on board, including students, families and all who matter because the government cannot do it all,” he added.
The Chairperson of the National Youth Council with the Trades Union Congress of Ghana, Brother John Doe, urged the government to equip the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) adequately for them to provide the nation with monthly figures on the level of unemployment.
That, he said, would serve as a constant reminder to the government and keep it working harder to address the situation.