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Chairman, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased to be a part of this occasion and to share with you on the topic RECRUITING IN/ FOR GHANA.
I believe it is fair to say that the issue of high unemployment rates, is not peculiar to Ghana or even Africa, but globally, many countries are plagued with high unemployment rates. According to ILO’s World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2017, the global unemployment rate is expected to rise from 5.7% to 5.8% this year. This seemingly marginal increase of 0.1% represents an increase of 3.4 million in the number of jobless people in the world. That means hundreds of millions of people worldwide are unemployed.
This is staggering, right?
Let us look more specifically at Ghana. According to data from Ghana Statistical Services, the unemployment rate in Ghana in 2015 was about 12.07%. So looking at Ghana’s working class population of 12 million, according to the Ghana Living Standard Survey Report in 2014 by the Ghana Statistical Services, this means that about 1.5 million Ghanaians are jobless.
This is astounding, isn’t it?
And I haven’t even talked about underemployment yet. Now in Ghana, we have over eighty (80) tertiary institutions that churn out thousands of graduates every year, who are looking for the preferred formal jobs that are just not there. Most of these graduates appear to lack the critical skills required by industry to immediately help achieve high productivity and growthat the workplace.
Putting all this together, I call it a CRISIS IN THE WORLD OF WORK. It is a crisis because employment represents fundamentally, a means to earn a living; a means for survival, for basic things such as food, shelter, healthcare and education. How are these millions of people surviving in an era of continual economic crisis without jobs? I hope I have been able to put into proper perspective the proverbial high unemployment situation of our country, continent and the world…it is a CRISIS IN THE WORLD OF WORK.
And so all this begs the question, how do we solve this crisis? Or the very least, what can we really do to bridge the skills gap between industry and academia as citizens, the government, industry and academia?

Recruitment proves to be a complex activity all over the world and Ghana is no different. Hiring Managers continuously struggle to fill vacant positions due to skills, cost/compensation and attitude gap with the current workforce to be.
So what is accounting for the skills shortage?
The working population in Ghana seems to lack the required or necessary skills for hiring. The world of work today is largely driven by behavioural and mastery of soft skills such as negotiation, communication, leadership, being a team player in addition to the cognitive and technical knowledge.
Our graduates simply do not add value to themselves. The university education is simply a springboard..
Attitude is also a major factor in recruitment and hiring managers try to find ways of telling candidates’ attitude through rigorous assessment routines.
So then is it not true that there are no jobs in Ghana?
There are limited jobs compared to the supply of labour. But it is also true that it is quite difficult filling the few available roles owing to the unavailability of best fit talent. I usually refer to such graduates as being “implementation ready”.
These are people who have the right knowledge with the right behavior or attitude and the skills require to not only solve today’s problems but tomorrow’s as well. Such people are limited in supply. To be more specific, when employing anyone, apart from their technical knowledge, I will be eager to know if they have integrity, what their prowess in innovation is, proven leadership, talent management skills, numerate, analytical and how well they communicate and more importantly, the person should be trainable or adaptable. This is because the world is constantly changing and people need to continually reinvent themselves and make themselves relevant and productive or become unemployable.

There are also quite some number of vacant positions out there, however, due to the lack of requisite skills set and knowledge, those positions continue to stay vacant for years. This therefore means until we do something about the skills gap in Ghana, we will continue to witness the high unemployment rate in Ghana.

Practical Curriculum Application
There is the need for Ghanaian schools to develop teaching and learning modules that will give students practical knowledge for life, rather than the theory filled lessons. This will help graduates to develop the necessary skills that will help them fit into the world of work.
Internship Programs
On the average, students have an employability rate of about 30% when they are still in school and have not been able to apply any knowledge, after completing various internships, that figure rises to about 58% or more based on the experience received during these internships. Intern.byu.edu/content/benefits-internships
Internship programs therefore go a long way to help in bridging the gap between the academic and industries. This program should however not be left for just students. Jobseekers are better of working on internships with companies to gain practical experience, rather than just stay at home and search for jobs. More so for diasporas, there will certainly be some difference in the general life culture and work culture, compared to the cultures of the countries they are coming from. There is therefore the need for diasporas to use internship program as a tool in learning more about the work environment in Ghana, so they can easily fit in when fully employed.
At L’AINE, we have a yearly program called L’AINE Bridge the Gap Internship as part of our corporate social responsibility, where we give students the opportunity to do internship with L’AINE and partner companies.
Improve on Counseling Systems in Schools
The benefits of counseling sessions in schools cannot be overstated. A well equipped counseling system will improve upon the;
⎫ Confidence of students, to exhibit stellar work ethics.
⎫ Adequately guide students in choosing the fulfilling career path and developing, thereby increasing their employability rate
There is therefore the need to ensure institutions develop their counseling systems; capacity of teachers, facilities and other resources necessary for the right development of students’ skills.
Corporate Excursions
Institutions must also organize regular excursions to various corporate bodies to expose students to the different kind or work environments and jobs that are out there and give them a real feel of what they see and read about in their lessons and lectures.
Aside experiencing firsthand what it means to actually work and be productive at what you do students will see for themselves what it takes to get into the work place, thus pushing them to take the education more seriously if they haven’t. These visits will also help them to identify the kind of companies and careers they want to go for before committing to work entirely, an experience that is important for a good working life.
Entrepreneurship Drive
The mindset of the average Ghanaian is to come out of school and ‘find’ a job. Students don’t take hold of the time they have in school to work on their talents, gifts and creativity. Finding a job does not create the urgency in students to solve the problems around them.
Entrepreneurship drive in schools will help in not just creating jobs, but will also help solve a lot of the challenges we have in Ghana and turn them into business opportunities. This will therefore be the best of solutions to the unemployment challenge in Ghana.
The L’AINE Foundation entrepreneurship club provides a platform for students in Junior High schools to learn entrepreneurial traits, values and skills, so that they can take advantage of the problems around them and create businesses that in effect create more employment for others coming out of school.

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