Shocking! It takes 5 years to get employment after school in Ghana – Research

Unpublished data from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) indicate that in Ghana, it takes averagely five years to get a job after leaving school.   

A survey conducted in 2015 discovered that on the average, it will take 5 years after leaving school to get a stable job in what the GSS calls ‘School-to-Work System’.

Notwithstanding, the data could not be validated authoritatively and so GSS could not publish it.

The Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research (ISSER) had earlier released a report on the unemployment situation in Ghana and indicated that it may take up to 10 years for a large number of graduates to secure employment due to varied challenges that ranged from the lack of employable skills, unavailability of funding capital for entrepreneurship, poor attitudes of graduates towards job opportunities, as well as the low capacities of industry to absorb the huge numbers.

The ISSER data also revealed that 10 percent of graduates find jobs after their first year of completing school.

Speaking on 3FM‘s Sunrise morning show on Monday, September 13, Anthony Amuzu-Pharin, the Director of Social and Demographic at GSS, however, said there is the need to have a stand-alone survey which would give them the luxury to ask all questions regarding jobs in Ghana.

“In 2015, we used a module called the ‘School to Work’ transition and that tries to measure employment. For instance, when you finish school, how long does it take you to get a decent job? We have a figure around 5 years; it means on average, it will take five years after leaving school to get a stable job.”

The GSS also looked at other layers of the transitions from school to work including from Senior High School to employment and University to employment.

An estimated 100,000 students graduate from schools. Again, out of the 10,000 job seekers annually, only a fraction gets jobs.

The recent job fair organized by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) advertised for 3,000 jobs with the promise to get instant job placements. But many questions are being asked about the sustainability and quality of the jobs being promised the graduates.

Contributing to a roundtable discussion on the morning show on 3FM, Prof. Amuzu said the survey defined stable job as: “A job that is satisfactory or a job that is stable and we defined stable as a job that can take you for the next six months. We measured that but we couldn’t publish it”.   

Meanwhile, a Labour Economist and Senior Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Prscilla Twumasi Baffour, who also contributed to the discussion, said anything to sustain job creation should come from the private sector.

Beyond that, she noted, politicians are making promises which cannot be met.  

According to her, government’s short-term measures including the Nations Builders’ Corps (NABCO) and other programmes, although are stop-gap measures, are unsustainable and rather create other problems since the jobs they do cannot be measured.

She stressed that absorbing them into the public sector rather increases the wage bill.  

She prescribed a solution to look at the economy.

“If the productive sectors are working, jobs would be created naturally.”  

By Richard Bright Addo|3FM|3news|Ghana