Government is to open job centres in all districts across the country to assist job seekers in their quest for decent employment, the Minister-designate for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, has disclosed.
The centres, he told the Appointments Committee of Parliament, on Wednesday, would be a one-stop shop where job seekers would meet their potential employers.
According to him, the government has reintroduced the labour office concept, where job seekers submit their credentials and their would-be employers are expected to consider when hiring.
“We have opened eight of these labour offices and in the process of adding 20 more. It is our wish that we will be able to cover every district of the country,” he said.
Beyond the physical centres, Mr Awuah, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Sunyani West, said the idea is to create a web base where both job seekers and employers would upload their information.
“I think that is the way to go and it is very critical. Critical in the sense that apart from it being a market place, it also gives us direction as to what the labour requirement of the nation is,” he said.
This information hub, he said, would serve as a pointer to the training institutions as to which jobs were needed in the market.
According to him, it has been revealed in separate studies that more children are being used for labour in cocoa-growing areas and fishing communities in the country.
“The implication is, if we are not careful, buyers of Ghana’s cocoa would be forced to reject Ghana’s cocoa. It is a very important issue which needs urgent attention,” he said.
To end the practice in the identified areas, he said a national action plan had been developed to combat the menace.
He told the 26-member committee, chaired by Joseph Osei-Owusu, the First Deputy Speaker, that three million jobs had been created since the NPP government assumed political power in January 2017.
Challenged on the figures based on the data provided in his handover notes which only accounted for 2.7 million jobs, Mr Awuah said that figure was minus the last six months of the previous administration as prescribed by the Transitional Act, which stipulates that handover notes be prepared six months before the election.
“I cannot come and lie to this Honourable Committee. I have indicated my readiness to supply you with the rest of the data and I am ever willing to do that,” he responded to a question by Eric Opoku, MP for Asunafo South.
Mr Awuah said the banking sector clean-up which saw the revocation of licences of nine universal banks, 347 microfinance companies, and dozens of savings and loan companies led to the loss of 3,000 jobs.
“I have made a public statement on this before and if my memory serves me right, about 3,000 people lost their jobs,” he said to the amazement of the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, who thought the number should be more.
BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI