The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Mr Kofi Agyepong, says that the unemployment rate among Ghanaian youth keeps soaring due to a lack of relevant skills to take up existing job opportunities.
To that effect, he said, the youth were losing out on jobs, especially in the artisanal sector to artisans from neighbouring countries.
“You want the best of masons to put up a building for you, you want the best of P.O.P done for you in your house, you want the best of plumbers to fix your pipes, and even painting, and you are directed to artisans from Togo because they deliver the best of these services,” he said.
Mr Agyepong has, therefore, called for a change in the pattern of investments to ensure that more resources go into enhancing the technical and vocational skills “that will stay with our youth forever.”
Speaking at the 2022 Job Fair in Sunyani, he said the situation was so dire that he doubted the capacity of the YEA to find young competent technicians in large numbers to fill up job vacancies that may be available.
“I have been asking myself since I took over the agency if Tullow Ghana Limited asks me to supply them with 200 trained and certified electricians today, will I be able to provide them? If AngloGold Ashanti requests YEA to provide them with 500 trained and certified industrial machine engineers, will I be able to provide them?
“If the Ghana Water Company requests 100 trained and certified plumbers for employment today, can I provide them?” he said.
MrAgyapong commended the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GCC) together with the GIZ, who through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development has organised the fair.
He further commended the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations for their continuous support in reducing the unemployment rate in the country.
The CEO also urged young job seekers, while being relentless in their job hunt, to continuously upgrade their skills as they aspire to achieve their dreams.
“Take every advantage of the fair and reach out to as many employers as you can. I entreat you to treat this event as just what it is: a job fair, not some sort of funfair,” he added. -GNA