Youth Rise International, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) focused on poverty eradication through education and decent work has called on the Government to as a matter of urgency roll out a national ICT for Work programme for the youth.
The initiative, it said, must be focused on preparing the Ghanaian youth for the virtual or digital world in order to stay relevant and competitive in the global job market during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
Mr David Kofi Awusi, Executive Director of Youth Rise International who made the call, indicated that failure to roll out such initiative would jeopardize the country’s economy and worsen the already alarming youth unemployment situation.
In this regard, he admonished the government to prioritise and invest massively in developing the Ghanaian youth in employable IT skills amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Mr Awusi, there were a huge number of Ghanaian youth without employable skills especially in the area of job-oriented IT skills.
He said Government ought to realised that COVID-19 pandemic had changed the very fabric of society including the job market space and as such must act quickly to avert any national calamity due to gross unemployment especially among the youth.
“Almost every organization is now online or working in the virtual space. It stands to reason that, the youth who do not have basic IT skills or virtual working capacity will either lose their jobs or might not stand a chance of getting a decent job,” he noted.
“Through Youth Rise International’s work, we have come across thousands of Ghanaian youth who are either students or graduates but have zero professional typing skills. Many others can’t even create a simple Microsoft Word document as well as conducting basic online research,” he added.
Mr Awusi stressed the need for Ghana to adequately prepare its youth, who were the future leaders to quickly adapt to the world, which had changed drastically due to the advent of COVID-19 pandemic.