General News Mon, 16 Aug 2010

Over 230,000 youth enter the job market annually with no employable skills -

E.T. Mensah

Accra, Aug. 16, GNA- Mr. Enoch Teye Mensah, Minister of Employment and Social Welfare, on Monday said the need to train unemployed youth in various vocational and technical skills was crucial to solve the unemployment problem in Ghana.

He said a common feature of the labour market indicates that over 230,000 people, with the majority being young people between the ages of 15 and 35 resort to buying and selling because they have limited or no employable skills.

He therefore urged development partners to support the country's budget to strengthen technical and vocational training institutions to help produce the competence that investors need.

Mr. Mensah made this known when Mr. Nicholas Westcott, British High Commissioner, to Ghana visited him to discuss labour and social welfare issues.

The Employment and Social Welfare Minister said the National Youth Employment Programme was established to deal with issues of unemployment however, there were a number of challenges that undermine the success and sustainability of the programme.

Mr. Mensah explained that the programme does not address the need for career progression beneficiaries and hence their transition from the programme to the world of work, stressing, skills training is our priority as government.

He therefore requested the British government to continue to support the ministry especially in the area of human resource shortage needed to enhance employment and social welfare issues.

Mr. Mensah further thanked the British government for the support so far received from them and said the United Kingdom (UK) Government was a key supporter of the Multi-Donor Budgetary Support and provides the largest bilateral support in the form of a grant which is about 40 million pounds a year.

Mr. Westcott said the UK government was committed to increase aid and Africa remains top on British priority list for support.

"Reducing poverty and increasing wealth in Africa and the world at large is good for Britain", he said and pointed out that there was the need for sustainable jobs in the private sector.

Source: GNA