The president of the Ghana Association of Private Employment Agencies, Nana Baah Abu Okae IV, has expressed concern about the activities of the unregistered private employment agencies in the country.
In an interview with The Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday, Nana Okae said the situation required a comprehensive approach to deal with.
“It is a worrying situation and we have been praying that the authorities would come out with a strong position to deal with such practice,” he stated, noting that the launch of the National Policy on Migration was good news.
He said his outfit was aware of the operations of such bodies, but could not tell the exact locations or offices.
“We gathered that their number outweigh that of the registered agencies of about 22 according to the records,” he said.
Nana Okae said the association was formed following a meeting it held, some time last year, with the Parliamentary Select Committee on Employment on issues related to migration.
Unfortunately, he said, the unregistered agencies did not have a constitution or code of conduct for their members to sanction them when ever they went wrong.
The registered body, Nana Okae said, was legally recognised with the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), had constitution, code of conduct and certification from the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations to undertake its activities.
Besides, he said, they were also made to deposit GH¢25,000 with the ministry and which would be forfeited in default.
“This means that any of us can have our licence or certificates revoked if we flout the rules,” he said.
According to him, there were procedures before granting an individual a licence or certification to operate.
For instance, the agency should be an established institution registered with the RGD, should be licenced and given the permit by the Employment and Labour Relations Ministry to operate in both Ghana and abroad as a recruitment agency among others.
He, therefore, urged prospective travellers to do due diligence on the agencies they approached or vice versa before making any payment.
They should also demand to see the contract documents, including where to sleep, the medical arrangement and many others.
Nana Okae noted that there were benefits in human resource exportation if managed well, and advocated strong collaboration between the government and the private sector to critically look into the matter and find lasting solution to it.
“It is a major industry in the world where lot of countries are getting revenue through the exportation of its human resource”, citing the Philippines as an example.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour