Unemployment is one of the major issues in Ghana. Unemployment in Ghana seems to be increasing although it hit an all-time high in 2015.
In 2010 more than 10 percent of the employable population was unemployed. That figure went as high as 6.81 percent in 2015, however, there has been a significant decrease in the unemployment rate in Ghana in recent years.
More than 1 million employable Ghanaians are unemployed and the figure seems to be rising as Africa faces more economic crises. The causes of unemployment in Ghana can be traced back to the several factors which remain unsolved.
Causes of Unemployment in Ghana & Solutions
In this article, we will be looking at the causes of unemployment in Ghana and solutions to these problems.
Causes of Unemployment in Ghana
Lack of Skills
Lack of the right skill set is one of the main causes of unemployment in Ghana. The free education system practiced in the country has helped reduce the illiteracy level but it has also reduced the quality of education.
Thus, they are more graduates who are knowledgeable in the theoretical aspect of things but unable to implement them in reality.
The lack of skills needed in corporate organizations makes it harder for an employable person to get jobs which leads to unemployment. Sometimes, people who have the right skills and qualification could be too overqualified for the job and thus not employable.
Another way the free education system leads to unemployment is due to its rigidity. The education curriculum in Ghana is not flexible and unable to keep with the fast advancing world.
Skills that are being taught in the curriculum are no longer in use or have been taken over by computers and machines.
The job seekers are considered under-qualified and will have to remain unemployed until they can develop the right skill set.
White-Collar Job Mentality
Going through school for so many years have left most Ghanaians with only one goal – to get a white-collar job. White-collar jobs are formal employment in multinational companies or well-reputed local companies.
They offer a ticket to a successful life due to the high wages and bonuses that come with working in such companies.
As a result of this most Ghanaians go to school with the belief that they will end up getting one white-collar job or the other. As it turns out, the supply of white-collar jobs is lower than the demand.
There are few establishments who can provide such employment opportunities which means the majority of the employable population wouldn’t be able to get such jobs.
This makes most Ghanaians to sit and wait for opportunities rather than go for blue or pink-collar jobs. As a result, many graduates and qualified persons remain unemployed for a long period of time thus raising the unemployment rate of the country.
Lack of Entrepreneurship Education
There are very few industries, multinational companies, and corporate organizations in Ghana that can take on the entire employable population in the country.
This is due to many factors like the economic situation in the country which is yet to attract many multinational companies to the country and the lack of entrepreneurship education.
The lack of entrepreneurship education Ghana has created more job seekers than job creators. Thus, there are many people looking to get the few available spots and only a few creating businesses that will create more jobs.
The educational system also emphasizes on skills necessary to work in a company rather than build new companies.
The lack of vocational support, training facilities, and emphasis on the importance of entrepreneurial skills make it harder for job seekers to build businesses when they are unable to secure the white-collar jobs.
Lack of Capital
Among the millions of employable persons who make up the unemployed population, there are a few numbers of them who have ideas and skills needed to start businesses. Unfortunately, these few individuals are unable to gain access to capital needed to build their business.
Access to loans in Ghana is restricted partially due to the lack of collateral. Also, the high-interest rates charged by banks make it difficult for these people to repay their loans on time.
Most banks are reluctant to give loans to these set of people as they believe that they are less likely to repay the loans since they do not have a long or manageable employment record.
Solution To Unemployment in Ghana
Review of the Education System
The Education system and the curriculum require an intensive review. People should be trained to have the right skills that will match up with those required in the job market. Also, entrepreneurial education should be taken seriously in school.
Empowering people with the right skills that will help them create more jobs rather than seeking for the few vacancies will help build the economy and reduces the unemployment rate.
Support for Upcoming Entrepreneurs
The government should provide support to entrepreneurs who wish to create their own businesses by offering them loans. These loans should have low-interest rates and flexible repayment plans to enable the entrepreneurs to successfully run their businesses while repaying the loans.
Create more Industries
The government should also create more industries. There are various opportunities in Ghana that are yet to be explored. The government should use these opportunities to create more jobs.
Favorable Economic Policies
Favorable economic policies will attract foreign investors and multinational companies to the country. Multinational companies like Dangote Group are one of the major employers of labor in many African countries including Ghana.
If there are more of these companies in Ghana, there will be a significant reduction in the unemployment rate in the country.
Unemployment is one of the reasons for many social problems and vices in the country. The lack of jobs has made many people go into illegal means of making money. This increases the crime rate in the country and makes it difficult for foreign investors to show interest in the country.
Unemployment in Ghana has made it more difficult for people to survive. This is why the government needs to enact the right solutions to solve the problem.
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