The President of the Association of Ghana Industries, Dr Yaw Adu-Gyamfi, has called on government to develop policies that would favour industry development to enable its members solve the graduate unemployment situation that has bedeviled the country.
He said most of the policies for industry rather favoured foreign businesses rather than promoting the local ones to expand their businesses to enable them employ more graduates.
“The biggest example is the recent policy of government on reduction of import duties by 50 per cent for general goods and 30 per cent on automobiles,” he said, adding that the influx of imports in the country has the tendency to displace locally manufactured products.”
Mr Adu-Gyamfi who was speaking at the 15th Congregation of the Koforidua Technical University called on government to develop favourable policies and provide incentives for the private sector to take up more students for internships and permanent employment.
About 1,994 students graduated with Bachelor of Technology and Higher National Diplomas in various disciplines with some awarded for their hardwork.
Mr Adu-Gyamfi called on the government to seriously implement its 10-point Industrial Agenda launched by the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, which included establishment of parks with at least one in each region, promotion of industrial sectors including pharmaceutical, Agro processing businesses and promotion of locally manufactured goods.
He said, that would help industry players to expand and be able to employ more graduates to reduce the high number of unemployed in the country.
Mr Adu-Gyamfi also noted that there had been a growing mismatch between what industries expect of graduates and what they can readily deliver, adding that the situation was worrying.
He, therefore, called on regulators in the Technical, Vocational Education Training (TVET) sector to ensure that TVET schools have the right logistics and equipment to train students to acquire the necessary knowledge, coupled with the right skills and expertise that would make them employable.
For her part, the Vice Chancellor of KTU, Professor Smile Dzisi, revealed that the university was committed to training its students to be practically-inclined, adding that the university had maintained a healthy relationship with industries across the country and abroad to enable the students receive practical workplace exposure in a bid to sharpen their industrial orientation and make them employable.
She also revealed that her office had established the Vice Chancellor’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Challenge to inspire initiatives, teamwork, creativity and tenacity of students’ progress from conception of business ideas to actualisation.
For his part, the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr Samuel Ayertey, pledged the government’s commitment to providing employment avenues for graduates and urged them to take advantage of the One District One Factory (1D1F) among others.
The Chairman for the Governing Council of KTU, Mr Samuel Apori, also revealed that the university would, through its internal generated fund, provide some facilities to improve teaching and learning.
From Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman, Koforidua