Graphic Business, in partnership with Stanbic Bank, has held the quarter two edition of the Graphic Business-Stanbic Bank breakfast meeting.

The event which was held at the Kempinski hotel centered on the theme, “Tackling unemployment to generate growth.”

Industry players converged at the hotel to identify factors hampering the reduction of the country’s unemployment rate and also deliberated on practical solutions to tackling the menace.

Highlighting factors that have largely contributed to the stalled progress of the country’s employment situation, Economics Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Adu Owusu Sarkodie who was also the guest speaker for the day, mentioned that this is because the sectors that can create employment are not expanding.

Graphic-Stanbic breakfast meeting: Experts propose sustainable solutions to dealing with unemployment rate
Economics Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr Adu Owusu Sarkodie

“The labour absorptive sectors, i.e Agric and Manufacturing are not expanding so much,” he said.

Providing data to back to his claim, Dr. Sarkodie stated that between 2017 and 2018, the extractive sector, which accounts for just 15% of the value of GDP, accounted for 80% of the rebasing. So the extractive sector which only creates 0.8% of employment, is the leading contributor to the GDP growth rate. The Agric and Manufacturing that can create more jobs are not growing to keep pace with the extractive sector.

“There’s also high-interest rate, time and time again, we have seen the Bank of Ghana responding to the increases in inflation rate by raising the policy rate. This causes the banks to rise, giving the banks super normal profit at the expense of people working in the real sector to create wealth because the interest rate is the cost of borrowing, and anytime you increase the business rate, it increases the cost of borrowing and the businesses cannot expand to create jobs,…and these are all factors that are causing the unemployment rate to rise,” he added.

Another factor he mentioned, is the large informal sector. He stated that “we are training people for the formal sector yet, the formal is not expanding. It is the informal sector that’s rather expanding,” he stated.

Ghanaian entrepreneur, Human Resource practitioner, and CEO of L’aine Services Limited, Dr. Hellen Hagan, who also touched on skill development, stressed the need for companies to open up to students for internship opportunities.

“The people coming from school only get to develop their skill or get experience when they are on the job. And so when they are from school, usually they wouldn’t have the skills that are required by the industry [and] unfortunately, the young people coming out of school, where the bulk of the unemployment is, have a certain attitude and most employers do not want them in their workplaces.

“So we are advocating specific and intentional internship opportunities so that they will be able to develop themselves and hit the ground running when they come out of school,” she said.

Other speakers included; Miss Florence Hope-Wudu, and Nana Osei Bonsu of the Private Enterprise Federation. They all gave key pointers as to how to deal with the menace.