Ghana faces 12% youth unemployment and over 50% underemployment – World Bank report

The country is faced with about 12 percent youth unemployment and more than 50 percent underemployment, a new World Bank Report has revealed.

This is both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries.

Despite major investments by both government and private sectors, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.

To tackle youth unemployment, the report highlights the importance of having disaggregated data on youth job seekers by location, gender, skills, and capabilities to inform policy and funding decisions. There was also the need to respond with appropriate and tailored employment programs.

The report is accompanied by an inventory of public job programmes in Ghana to inform policymakers and stakeholders on the existing landscape of youth employment programming.

The report titled “Youth Employment Programmes in Ghana: Options for Effective Policy Making and Implementation” identifies agribusiness, entrepreneurship, apprenticeship, construction, tourism, and sports as key sectors that can offer increased employment opportunities for Ghanaian youth.

It also calls for more investments in career guidance and counseling, work-based learning, coaching, and mentoring to equip young people with the skills needed for work.

The report suggests that although these are not new areas, the government could maximize their impact by scaling-up these priority areas in existing youth employment interventions and improve outreach to the youth.

Ghana’s youth employment challenge is vast and requires an all-round, deliberate, and consistent response,” said Pierre Frank Laporte, World Bank Country Director for Ghana, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. 

“Considering the options outlined in this report, future youth employment policy planning should not only address youth unemployment but should also build the human capital needed to sustain Ghana’s economy”, he added.

The authors lay out key priorities to promote youth employment in Ghana: 

  • Importance to align formal education programs and skills development initiatives in the context of a fast-changing labor market that requires new and different skill sets, and to adapt to new technology.
  • Partner with the private sector—such as involving employers in the design of training curricula and introducing certifications for occupational standards in order to adapt to the future of work.
  • Integrate pre-employment support activities as part of the country’s current education system to better prepare young people for the transition to work.
  • Promote social inclusion initiatives to improve access to credit and management training for women entrepreneurs, as well as improve both infrastructure and equipment available for persons living with disabilities and ensure that no one is left behind.

In addition, the report emphasizes the need for greater collaboration among different stakeholders to reduce duplication and fragmentation of youth employment programming. 

This report is accompanied by an inventory of public job programs in Ghana to inform policymakers and stakeholders on the existing landscape of youth employment programming.


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