Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, addressing the event. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations has launched a national action plan to enhance the capacity of institutions to address skills mismatch and imbalances in organisations.
The plan is intended to improve and strengthen labour market information and skills anticipation systems in Ghana.
It is also to enable institutions, both public and private, to effectively apply knowledge, technical skills and strategies to ensure that they hire the right skills set for the right jobs.
The plan, which is being rolled out in partnership with the International Labour Organisation (ILO), will also ensure that the skills required are not less or more than required.
The Officer in Charge of the project, David Marcos, said mismatch and imbalance between the demand and supply of skills contributed to costly economic inefficacies, which included difficult transition from education to productive employment, and underutilisation of existing skills at the workplace.
“It is an established fact that countries that have succeeded in linking skills to productivity employment and enhanced development have targeted gains, developed policies towards matching supply to demand for skills,” he stated on behalf of the Country Director of the ILO Office for Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Vanessa Phala.
He said experience had shown that building and sustaining competencies for future labour market needs and helping workers and enterprises to adjust to changes in the labour market required stronger skills anticipation and matching capacities.
Mr Marcos said countries that succeeded in linking skills to productivity employment and enhanced development had targeted skills development policies towards matching supply to demand for skills.
He said skills development programmes usually lacked quality and orientation to demand, and neither met labour market skills requirements nor the social demand for accessible skills development that could lead to improved employability.
“Weak skills development outcomes and the lack of standards among skills development providers, which impacts the comparability and quality assurance of programmes and certificates, contribute to widen the gap between the skills offered and those needed in labour markets,” he added.
This, coupled with tensions between a rapidly growing young population and relatively low pace of job creation, he explained, were cause for more determined action and partnerships for more informed skills development approaches and quality jobs for young Africans.
The sector minister, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, said labour market information systems were built globally to facilitate job matching, job searching, and provide credible information about the labour market.
That, he said, served as useful tools for the government, employers and job seekers alike to identify new opportunities in emerging sectors.
He explained that a functional labour market information system provided the government with data that aided in shaping policies and created a connection with the technical and vocational education and training sector for career guidance and counselling.
He said the unemployment rate for persons with secondary education was higher than those with post-secondary education, and lower for persons with post-graduate degrees.
He noted the ministry, in collaboration with the ILO-Skills Initiative for Africa, had launched a study into the existing labour market information system and practices in Ghana.