Accra City Campus Organises Youth Empowerment Lecture

The University of Ghana’s Accra City Campus (UGACC) has organised a maiden Youth Empowerment lecture series to prepare its students for the job market.

In his welcome address, Mr. W.N. Torvinyo, Senior Assistant Registrar, expressed gratitude to the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) team for their time and effort to curb unemployment in the country. He was hopeful that the lecture would contribute to preparing the students for the job market.

On behalf of Mr. Agya Yaw Nsiah, Director, Research and Planning Unit, YEA, Madam Pearl Broohm took the participants through the birth and evolution of YEA, its mandate, vision and mission, the unemployment situation in Ghana and the purpose of the YEA.

Giving the statistics on the unemployment situation in Ghana, Madam Broohm explained that per the 2021 population and housing census, the current labor force in Ghana is 1,551,118(13.4%), of which 139,553(12.1%) are unemployed; 675,164(43.5%) are actively looking for work and 464,389.22(31.4%) are not actively in search of jobs. She noted that the YEA has the purpose to empower the youth of Ghana to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the country. “No country can develop without its human resource. Currently the youth of Ghana are the best resource that we have”, she added.

Madam Broohm noted that with the YEA’s desire to mitigate the unemployment challenges in Ghana, it has come out with certain initiatives including the Job Centre to help solve part of the problem. She mentioned that the Job Centre is a platform that connects employers and job seekers. “This is different from the others…. At the end of last year, we had 5,802 people registered on our platform. Of that number 3,782 were men and 2,020 were women, and within the year, we were able to match 440 people to jobs, made up of 279 men and 161 women. The remaining 5,362 are currently in our pool awaiting to be matched”, she stated.

Madam Pearl Broohm noted that another initiative, the Artisan Directory, had been established as a means of formalising the artisan sector. She noted that this initiative equips young men and women with vocational and technical employable skills that would enhance their lives. 

Mr. Abraham Jakalia, Head, Partnership and Development Unit, YEA, in his presentation stated that regarding employment opportunities in Ghana, only ten percent of graduates from the various institutions are absorbed in the public sector and the ninety percent absorbed in the private sector. He urged them to familiarise themselves with recruitment processes so that they do not find themselves wanting after school.

A cross-section of participants at the event

Mr. Jakalia encouraged the students to take advantage of internships and volunteering opportunities to prepare them for the job market. “If you are a second-year student here, I am advising and challenging you to take internships very seriously. It is an opportunity for you to work with institutions that you like, and you gain experience as well”, he added.

He encouraged the students to sign up to YEA Job Centre as they will get the support and opportunity to be trained. 

Mr. Louis Komla Kuddu, Head of Careers Unit at Job Centre, YEA, in his speech highlighted the need to have a vision as part of the preparation for the job market. “Vision defines who you want to be, what you want to be known for and the set of experiences and accomplishes you aim for. Vision gives you direction and a glimpse over your life to make your goals and purpose become a reality”, he stated.

He urged the students to always ensure that their skills and vision align with the company they want to work with. “If it does not align, then that is not your company even though they may be paying you millions of cedis”, he added.

Mr. Kuddu, among other things, enlightened the students on the essence of networking, being proactive, being open minded, having the right attitude and having a great appearance. He further noted the essence of flexibility and urged them not to be rigid in their work as far as it aligns with their vision. “If you have to wake up early to get the job, do it! If you have to leave Accra to stay in Koforidua for that job, you have to do it because you are gathering experience”, he added.

Professor Joseph Awetori Yaro, Principal, UGACC, in his closing remarks asked the students to maximise the knowledge and the advice they have received. He encouraged them to better position themselves to curb future unemployment.

The lecture ended with an opportunity given to students to ask questions; to which answers were provided by the speakers.

The hybrid event saw the presence of students from the UGACC, University of Ghana Main Campus and students from other tertiary institutions.