A former Minister of Employment under an NDC government, Nii Armah Ashietey, has urged the youth to pursue skills training to become employable in the job market.
He said the labour market was shifting from white collar jobs to skills and people with technical and vocational training.
NiiAshietey disclosed this in an exclusive interview with the Ghanaian Times, in Accra, yesterday, on the growing youth unemployment in the country and how to address it.
His comments come in the wake of the recent statement made by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, that government payroll is choked and the youth must pursue entrepreneurship.
According to the former minister, the public sector was already choked and the youth could not continue to depend on the public sector for jobs.
“Gone were the days when you leave university and job is waiting for you. But is not like that anymore,” NiiAshieteystated.
He encouraged the youth to enter into entrepreneurship to create their own businesses, saying, that would help the country to deal with the growing unemployment problem.
NiiAshieteyurged the government to invest more in vocational training as it was doing to grammar education.
“We need to start looking at vocational and technical education and encourage people to go in there. We have the schools, but unfortunately people think that when you don’t do well in school, that is when you go into that sector, but that is not true,” NiiAshieteyadded.
He said it was regrettable that other nationals had taken over construction jobs in the country because Ghana lacked enough local expertise for the sector.
“Today if you are looking for people with expertise in the building industry we go for people from Togo. It’s unfortunate, yet we have a lot of people from the Junior and Senior High Schools who can pursue skills training to fill the vacuum but they don’t want to go into suchbecause they think vocational and technical education was for those who are not academically good,” NiiAshieteysaid.
NiiAshieteycriticised the government for its inability to initiate strategies to create jobs in view of the numerous promises when in opposition.
“A country faces severe unemployment challenge when the government fails to tell the citizens the truth but rather give them vague promises which cannot be realised,” he said.
BY VIVIAN ARTHUR