Business News of 2014-03-17

Govt to deal with graduate unemployment - Prez Mahama

President John Dramani Mahama has expressed the government’s commitment to deal with the problem of graduate unemployment in the country.

He said the government was developing a tertiary educational system that produced graduates with the skills to attract well-paid jobs in science, technology and engineering.

President Mahama noted that the economy was demanding a move from the colonial-inherited tertiary educational system that placed emphasis on the Humanities to the training of a new set of graduates with skills that the job market was ready to offer well-paid jobs.

Addressing staff and students of the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) in Tarkwa last Friday as part of his three-day working visit to the Western Region, the President said graduate unemployment was due to the structure of the tertiary educational system and the graduates it produced.

"If you are producing between 20,000 and 30,000 marketing graduates annually, the point is that you come out with a degree but the question is, has the nation got the capacity to absorb all these numbers?” he asked.

He disclosed that the government was discussing a project with industry on how to get tertiary institutions to tailor their syllabi at programmes that suited the job market.

Mr Mahama emphasised that the government would continue to support the UMaT to turn out graduates needed for national development and who would get ready employment.

In that respect, he said, a collaboration would be made with the university administration for the construction of a new site for the university which could accommodate 10,000 students.

He announced that the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), which had been supporting the university, had made a further budgetary allocation of GHc2 million for the Department of Petroleum Engineering.

In addition, the corporation had agreed to collaborate with the university to build the department into a centre of excellence

He also gave an assurance that the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund) would make funds available for projects in the university.

President Mahama exhorted the university to play a lead role in the reclamation of lands destroyed by illegal gold mining.

The Vice-Chancellor of the UMaT, Prof. J. S. Y. Kuma, enumerated a number of projects and programmes that had been successfully undertaken in the university and called for the support of the government to enable the university to do more.

He commended the President for the interest he had shown in the development of the university.