Former President of Anglogold Ashanti and Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital, Sir Sam Jonah has cautioned of difficult times for new graduates entering the job market in the short to medium term, even as the world grapples with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Since the pandemic began last year, thousands of Ghanaians have been laid-off, with many businesses shut down due to a slowdown in economic activity.
With the country currently experiencing another surge of the disease with the new strain, many businesses are reluctant to employ new people and are rather devising strategies to keep the job going with a reduced workforce.
Speaking at the 9th Joint Graduation Ceremony of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Sir Sam Jonah urged new graduates to be adaptive and responsive to the changing times in order to thrive now and after COVID-19.
“Businesses are going under, and we’re seeing unprecedented levels of unemployment, poverty, and increased inequalities. Sadly, these are the realities of the new world and the one that you are graduating into. The emergence of the pandemic has brought about the need for rapid and radical changes to the way we live and work. There is no longer business as usual and as such, firms will be looking to recruiting and working with employees whose skills and competencies are matched with the insurgencies of the period.”
“I recently spoke to the head of HR of a major business organisation and I asked her for the essential skills employers will be looking for post-COVID graduates. She said flexibility and adaptability, communication and emotional intelligence, creativity, and innovation, and leadership skills. These are all desperately important skills which you’ll need if you’re to confront the challenges that we are faced with right now,” he advised.
Government working to create jobs
Following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in the country, several jobs have been lost, as many businesses have taken a hit.
Currently, people are already coping with the possibility of losing their jobs should the pandemic still persist.
Earlier, the Trades Union Congress appealed to government to inject about GHS18 billion into the various sectors of the economy to help lessen expected job losses from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the government of Ghana, amidst all this, insists it is taking steps to minimize unemployment in this era by creating some opportunities, particularly for the youth.