The promotion of education, training and decent work to address the increasing unemployment among Ghanaian youth is very much on the radar of development agencies, the Government of Ghana and educational institutions. Relevant training and employment needs and opportunities, which can improve on, and off-farm income generation for young women and men is essential to addressing the knowledge and skills gaps in Ghana.
During recent focus group discussions (FGD) conducted for representatives of youth groups in northern and southern Ghana under the theme: Industry-Relevant Technical and Vocational Education for Ghanaian Youth to Improve Agricultural Productivity, participants discussed extensively important training needs and ways to make it industry-relevant. A representative from Youth with Innovative ideas (YII) was of the view that enhancing employment opportunities and necessary skills not only facilitates secure livelihoods, but it also contributes to achieving self-worth. The main options for employment for rural youth include, inter alia, agriculture (including agro-processing and cottage industries), community-based entrepreneurial activities and migration to urban areas. Some skill-based training proposed by the representative include: prefabrication, solar drying equipment manufacture, warehouse construction, tractor repairs, production of storage bags, and digital opportunities in Agriculture. A representative from Women in Agriculture Development Directorate (WIAD) expressed the need for Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to be given priority in order to help Ghanaian youth enhance their qualifications and meet labour market demands. Such vocational education and training is particularly useful for those that may otherwise enter the labour market without appropriate skills.
The workshops were organised by Syecomp Ghana Ltd as part of activities under a grant activity: Improving Approaches to Mainstreaming Gender in Ghana’s Youth Policy and Youth in Agriculture Programme: Focus on Climate-Smart Agriculture and Market-Oriented Value Chains; and sponsored by the USAID|Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project, which is being implemented by Chemonics International Inc. (USA).
A representative from AgriHub Ghana indicated that in order to enhance the quality and relevance of training and encourage families and the rural youth to recognize the benefits of training, it is important to access labour market needs in the given local context, and formulate training meeting needs and preferences of the youth. A lack of information and awareness among the youth, their families and communities on the availability and usefulness of training (particularly those meeting labour market demands) is a major problem. The media, such as newspapers, television and radio, can be utilized to communicate the benefits of training, in addition to broader dissemination of information on available training opportunities, scholarships, youth programmes and job fairs.
A representative from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA) suggested the need for enhanced policy coordination to address limited human and financial resources, particularly in terms of reaching the local and community levels. This is also to allow broad-based participation in the efforts to improve employment and training prospects of the youth.
This is the 12th (final piece) in a 12-series blog (articles) to espouse the context of the Position Paper on effectively mainstreaming Gender and Youth in Agriculture in Ghana with support from USAID/Ghana Feed the Future Agriculture Policy Support Project (USAID/APSP)
Author: Syecomp Ghana Ltd
Email the author: Projects@syecomp.com
The author’s views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development or the United States Government.