Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, Professor Peter Quartey has called on some labour intensive industries including tourism and agro-processing to provide opportunities for university graduates to nurture their talents.

“You will realize that youth unemployment is a major problem in this country. We’re churning out graduates from institutions of higher learning but we don’t have the capacity to absorb them and there is a youth unemployment budge which has to be addressed.”

“So the idea is basically to address some of the labour intensive industries, find out what they are doing, what their potentials are and how we can enhance their potentials. So basically, the study focused on agro processing and tourism,” he said.

According to Professor Peter Quartey, this will help bridge the huge gap of youth unemployment and facilitate rapid economic growth in the country.

“Very interesting findings were made and one is that these industries have potential for generating employment and reducing youth unemployment. There’s the issue of skills gap; there’s a high skills gap which has to be addressed and one will be that the industries engage with training institutions so that by the time they graduate, they will be ready for the job market,” he emphasized.

According to a new World Bank report titled “Youth Employment Programs in Ghana: Options for Effective Policy Making and Implementation”, Ghana is faced with 12% youth unemployment and more than 50% underemployment, both higher than overall unemployment rates in Sub-Saharan African countries.

The report further indicated that, despite major investments by both government and private sector, this challenge will intensify if job opportunities remain limited.