Business News of 2014-03-28

‘Ghana lacks statistics on employment’

There are no national data on the number of graduates who are employed, a research being conducted by the British Council and the University of Education, Winneba has revealed.

Interim findings from the research titled: “Higher Education in Ghana for Inclusive Development,” revealed that there is no analysis of employability and higher education at the national level.

“There is no evidence on what is really going on in the market; no track of students and where they go after graduation, and there is also no link between the courses they offered and the work they do afterwards,” Dr. Eric Ananga, lead researcher told participants at a dissemination seminar.

The seminar, organized by the British Council, brought together senior policy makers from the Ministry of Education and tertiary institutions across the country, employment agencies and representatives of UK’s terteriary institutions to address how issues such as governance capacity building, access to higher education and quality assurance might be addressed.

It was a follow up event to another consultative meeting held to promote the debate on employability and skills development through a series of events and papers.

Dr. Ananga, in a presentation on the findings of the first phase of the project, said because of the lack of statistics on employability, people make statements and conclusions based solely on anecdotal evidence.

“We just might be taking people’s opinion and not real data as evidence of the situation on the job market”, he said.

He therefore suggested that tertiary institutions should begin a study to track their graduates to know where they get employed after graduation.

Dr. Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah, one of the researchers, presenting findings from the statistical service perspective, said unemployment in the country stands at 1.9 per cent.

Of this, 84 per cent said they expected wages higher than what they were offered while 5.2 per cent found themselves in that position due to non-availability of jobs.

Dr. Adzahlie-Mensah also noted that most people who are employed claim they are unemployed because they do not work in the field of their study.

This, he said, should change through proper documentation and tracking of students, as well as a clear understanding of the skills expected of tertiary students so that institutions can develop their programmes accordingly.

Liliana Biglou, Country Director, British Council, Ghana, said the findings and recommendations of the project, when completed, would be made available to the wider higher education community.

‘This will help ensure that the courses are relevant and produce graduates who are employable,” she said.