The emergence of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has reinforced the need to equip students with skills relevant to the changing world of work, Executive Director of the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE), Mr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah has stated.
He said: “This pandemic has exposed a lot of weakness in systems across the world and Ghana is no exception. The mismatch between what our educational institutions offer and industry demands has led to loss of jobs and layoffs in these times.
“Now school is not actively in session, it affords us the opportunity to rethink how we train students and the practical skills we give to them to make them employable and remain in the world of work.”
Mr Spio-Garbrah was speaking in a virtual meeting in Accra on Thursday to commemorate this year’s “World Youth Skills Day” on the theme, “Skills for a Resilient Youth.”
The event, marked every July 15, highlights the opportunities and challenges that young people face in employment and the need for them to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges in the world of work.
The former minister identified the need for a national strategy to solve the youth unemployment problem in the country through an “all hands on deck approach.”
“We need all stakeholders to come together; corporate entities, parents, teachers and government, to solve this problem in the next few years. There are a lot of people retired and sitting at home doing nothing. That is a pool of knowledge we can harvest for national development.
“Retirees are a good source of mentorship to guide the youth on a career path, setting up businesses and contribute to economic growth,” he said.
Mr Spio-Garbrah called on the public to have interest in the manifestoes of political parties ahead of the general elections as regards youth employment.
“We should look at what they have to offer, what their plans are for youth and skills development so we can hold them accountable to it,” he said.
ABCDE, is a Ghanaian based pan-African non-governmental organisation (NGO), committed to mentorship, provision of scholarships and skills development of secondary and tertiary students by providing them with internship and job recruitment programmes.
Driven by the passion to harness the core assets of businesses and organisations in bridging the gap between human resource expectations of industry and output of educational institutions, the NGO aims to help produce better prepared and more relevant African graduates for the world of work, and to intimate them with the constant changes in the corporate world.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH