Quoting a report by the Work Bank, which states that more than 700,000 jobs will be created from 2015 through to 2020 in the construction sector the institution, is of the firm conviction that the youth must be empowered to take advantage of the jobs.
Speaking at the event, Vera Kafui Mills-Odoi, Project Director, YIEDIE a Job Readiness and Mentoring fair was held in Accra on Monday to prepare the youth, between the ages of 17 and 24, to take up careers in the sector she said the project was designed to equip the youth with construction skills to be able to take up employment roles or build a career in the sector.
The fair was organised by YIEDIE to mentor the youth and also showcase opportunities in the construction industry.
The event attended by scores of youth drawn from across the country also sought to establish link with construction firms to create opportunities for placements, internships and exposures to the youth, trained under the same project.
Mrs Mills-Odoi, said the event was to create a platform to further stimulate discussions on how best to complement investments in skills development as part of efforts to prepare the youth for the construction job market.
As a sector capable of reducing the rate of unemployment in the country, Mrs Mills-Odoi explained that there was the need for training programmes to build the capacity of the youth to take advantage of the opportunities.
“The construction sector is projected to offer close to a million jobs from 2015 to the years ahead. For this reason, effort and stakeholder consultations are necessary to equip the youth to intensify uptake of the opportunities in the sector,” she said.
Training, she said would not only support the creation of jobs but would increase the productivity of a workforce relevant to the socio-economic development of the country.
The Minister for Labour and Employment, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, in a statement read on his behalf, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to increase accessibility of technical and vocational training to equip the youth with the requisite skills to venture into construction and other skilled jobs.
Mr. Samuel Amegayibor, Executive Secretary, Ghana Real Estate Developers Association (GREDA) noted that the country was facing a labour deficit in construction saying that “the youth must be trained to gain the requisite skills to be able to man the sector.”
“There are many job openings in this sector. If only people are adequately prepared to build a career in it, unemployment would reduce massively,” he added.
He expressed worry about the poor work ethics by some on-site labourers which negatively affect output and urged the participants to build trusted career images.
Motivational Speaker, Albert Ocran, advised the participants to be clear about their aims and aspirations and work towards realising it.