A national summit on youth and construction has been held in Accra with a call on government to leverage the potential of the youth in the construction sector by implementing policies aimed at creating economic opportunities for them.
Ghana’s construction industry is expected to increase with an annual growth rate of 11 percent which is expected to translate into about 1 million jobs in the next 10 years.
However, only 2.8 percent of the country’s young adults are engaged in the construction industry.
According to speakers and stakeholders at the day’s summit, which was attended by academia, construction companies and associations to discuss areas in need of investment to promote growth and participation of youth in Ghana’s burgeoning construction sector, the industry may be totally taken over by foreign entities if government does not take the necessary steps to empower the youth in the sector.
They called for polices that will give local construction companies more opportunities.
“The image of the construction sector needs to be made more attractive to young people,” they said.
The summit was organized by Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YEIDIE) project, which is being implemented by Global Communities in collaboration with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations.
It formed part of a five-year YIEDIE Project to create economic opportunities in Ghana’s construction sector for economically disadvantaged youth.
The project, which applies integrated, youth-led systems model to improve capacity of the youth and service providers across the service chain, has targeted 113,000 youth between the ages of 17 and 24 in five cities across the country.
Kafui Vera Adzo Mills-Odoi, YIEDIE Project Director, indicated that at least 19,000 youth would receive the training that they need to become entrepreneurs in the construction sector.
“Outcomes of the project include increased employment and self-employment opportunities, increased incomes and access to financial products,” she said.
Dr. Abdul Rashi Hassan Pelpuo, Minister of State, Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnership, commended the organizers, saying government was ready to partner them to develop the skills of the youth in construction industry which would eventually make it more attractive and draw more locals to the industry.
By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri