Government making agriculture attractive for the youth – Labour Minister

The Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Barfour Awuah has revealed that the government intends on making agriculture attractive to the youth especially as in the near future job issues would be a challenge.

Delivering a keynote address at the launch of a report by the World Bank on youth unemployment in Ghana, the minister stated that the increase in enrolment of government’s flagship policy, Free Senior High School has warranted this decision.

According to the minister, the patronage of the free SHS has been tremendous and it only makes room for the government to prepare as some may also enrol in some tertiary institutions. On the other hand, it could also be a precursor to issues of unemployment in the short to medium term.

“The issue of unemployment is expected to grow in the short to medium term due to the success of the government’s free SHS program and the planned TVET for Senior High Technical Schools. More than 1.2 million young people will be graduating annually from second cycle institutions to enrol in tertiary education or training or move directly into the labour markets” he stated.

government to make agriculture attractive to youth
Beneficiaries of some factories undergoing training and working

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According to Mr Awuah, this is a major increase from the about 800,000 students enrolled in 2016, hence efforts must be put in place to ensure that employment opportunities exist for these graduates.

“This is an increase from the 800,000 students enrolled in secondary schools in 2016. Efforts must therefore be doubled to ensure that employment opportunities exist for the products of our education and training institutions,” the Minister noted.

Women involved in planting for food and jobs

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He thus added that as part of efforts to mitigate against the burgeoning unemployment in the country, the government is stepping up its activities to make agriculture attractive for the teeming youth to enter in order to create employment for themselves.

“To this end, the government is promoting agribusiness and entrepreneurship to make them attractive to the youth. The cassava enterprise project, national entrepreneurship plan and presidential pitch are key examples of some of the interventions the government is using to provide jobs for young persons. These efforts are in addition to traditional employment opportunities  in the formal sectors of the economy.”

Over the last few months, the president has been commissioning some 1 District 1 Factory projects successfully completed in the various parts of the country.


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