…One-stop shop for job openings
Discussions between Ghana’s government and its German counterpart have started, geared towards revamping the current state of service delivery at all the public employment centres across the country.
What is in the offing is that the centres will be well resourced with digital technological equipment – primarily a central database, to track all job identified opportunities and training information after it has been fed with the required data.
This practice will enable all users have full access to available job openings and the requisite skills, education and working experience and thus will provide equal opportunity in accessing job availabilities online, thereby making the process much more transparent.
The negotiations are being spearheaded by Ghana’s Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
Currently, public employment centres lack the technological know-how and modern facilities to enable them carry out effective service delivery.
Cutting a sod for the construction of a permanent place for the Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC) in Accra which would serve as an advisory unit for employment promotion and economic perspectives for both local populace and returnees seeking for support in their social and economic reintegration, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah was optimistic the current talks that have begun between Ghana and German development partners would yield good results in the public employment space.
“It is possible to tell that a company at Bawku [Upper East Region] requires the services of particular experts who may not be available in the area, but can be located at Shama [Western Region]. We can do that by application of technology”, the Minister said.
According to the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), pubic employment centres and private employment agencies are mandated to assist unemployed and employed persons to find suitable employment; assist employers to find suitable workers from among such persons; support in social and economic planning by providing labour market information to stakeholders to ensure a favourable employment situation as well as providing arrangements for the registration of employed and unemployed persons.
Revamping public employment centres is expected to facilitate job creation and coordinate labour related activities at both the District and Regional levels. Developing and improving the systems at the centres has been necessitated as a result of the poor and inefficient systems of employment and job training mechanisms.
The aim is to strengthen the employment matching process to effectively manage unemployment rates across the country. Creation of better employment information and actual processes– either by placement or support – is expected to curtail illicit activities among the teeming unemployed youths. It would also reduce the growing number of employment schemes being presented by unscrupulous people to defraud desperate people looking for jobs.
The Director General for BMZ, Dr. Stefan Oswald also bemoaned the practice in Ghana where job opportunities are announced in an obscure medium simply using telephone numbers. “I think we can do better”, he reiterated.
Meanwhile, the World Bank is estimating that less than 3 percent of Ghana’s labour force are unemployed. However, such unemployment figures are unrealistic as there are no official laid down mechanisms and structures to continuously track unemployment rates in Ghana. Indeed, it is obvious to all that the real unemployment rate in Ghana is far higher, possibly reaching a quarter of the labour force.
By Dundas Whigham