Employment is not increasing fast enough to keep up with the growing labour force in Ghana. For this reason, the surge of unemployment and underemployment among the youth -particularly women, in Ghana remains a challenge thus slowing down development in the country and becoming a major concern in recent times.
Although there have been efforts by the government, private sector, and NGOs to curb the challenge, unemployment has further worsened.
The statistics of unemployment rate in Ghana as of 2020 is approximately 4.53% and this affects the country’s economic growth.
Factors such as lack of workforce skills, lack of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) specifically designed to meet market needs, and lack of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are some of the causes contributing to the increase of unemployment and underemployment rates.
To tackle this issue, the Green Economy Programme has developed a targeted intervention to equip young people, especially women and returnees with the skills needed to be inserted in the market, either as employees or as entrepreneurs. At the same time, the programme is supporting Vocational Educational Centres and Business Support Organisations in developing training and consultancy services matching Green Economy Ghana market needs.
From June to September 2021, recognised experts from Ghana and Scandinavia have been jointly developing the curricula for 3 TVETs programmes to create opportunities for young people to acquire skills that will lead to job creation, and enable them to become ‘creators’ rather than ‘seekers’ of jobs.
The TVET Centres that will offer the training are Koforidua Technical University, YWCA Ghana, and Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture. Business Incubators such as Women´s Heaven, Waste or Create and Eastern Hub will join forces to enhance job creation potential.
To secure the success of the programme, partners are creating a thriving network of industry players in Kumasi, Koforidua, and Accra.
The Green Economy Ghana Programme is expected to offer technical and entrepreneurial training (in-class and on-the-job) to 400 youth, with special focus on engaging with women and returnees in one of these three sectors: plastic recycling, organic waste management or sustainable forestry.
One of the programme partners, Social Enterprise Ghana, has led a candidate attraction campaign resulting in receiving over 800 applications.
This shows that there is an urgent need and real demand for this kind of intervention.
Green Economy Ghana is part of ARCHIPELAGO, a 4-year programme, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF), whose main objective is to strengthen the employability of young people and support job creation in the Sahel and Lake Chad countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Mauritanian, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal).
The consortium implementing this project in Ghana is made up of Inclusive Business Sweden, YMCA Ghana, Ghana Sweden Chamber of Commerce, Social Enterprise Ghana and Sweden West Africa Business Association