Absence of relevant skills is dangerous to solve the problem of unemployment – YEA Boss
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), Kofi Agyepong, has said that the absence of relevant skills will continue to create high levels of unemployment in the country despite the availability of job vacancies.
Speaking at the 2022 Job Fair in Sunyani, Mr. Agyepong, therefore, called for the need to change the patterns of “our investment in well-enhanced skills that will forever remain with our youth”.
He said; “Since I took over the agency, I have been asking myself if Tullow Ghana Limited asks me today to supply them with 200 trained and certified electricians, will I be able to provide them? If AngloGold Ashanti asks YEA to provide them with 500 trained and certified industrial machinery engineers, will I be able to provide them?
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“If the Ghana Water Company today asks for the employment of 100 trained and certified plumbers, can I provide them? A few days ago I met an investor friend whose main problem was finding certified mechanics to repair his company’s excavators, loaders and crushers at his quarry in Shai Hills. Whenever one of these machines breaks down, it gives him a headache. He can hardly assemble a team of hard-working young people to operate the machines. Those are the real skills that are needed in this country.”
Another looming national crisis identified by Mr. Agyepong was how the country was gradually losing its informal sector to artisans from neighbouring countries, especially Togo.
“You want the best masons to build your building, you want the best P.O.P for your home, you want the best plumbers to fix your pipes and even paint, and you are directed to Togo Craftsmen because they provide the best of these services. Have we considered as a country the amount of resources we are losing as a result? Are we saying that we cannot train our young men and women to provide these services? Won’t it give them lifelong skills that they can provide for themselves, and their families at any time and ease the pressure on the government to provide jobs? he asked
He also used the event to commend the Ghana-German Center for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GCC) together with GIZ who, through the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, are tirelessly supporting the fair.
He also praises the Ministry of Labor and Industrial Relations for its continued support.
To my young people who attended the fair, Mr. Agyepong told them that the fair is the best opportunity “you can find today to fulfill the dream you desire. Take advantage of all the advantages of the fair and reach out to as many employers as possible. I ask that you treat this event as what it is: a job fair, not some kind of amusement park.”