The National Entrepreneurship Innovative Plan (NEIP), has revealed that, just two per cent of the 250, 000 Ghanaians who enter the labour market annually are employed in the formal sector, yearly.
This disclosure was made by Mr. Franklin Owusu Karikari, the Director for Business Support for NEIP at an entrepreneurship awareness program at Sunyani over the week.
Speaking at the event which was held by the Sunyani Technical University (STU) in partnership with the Ghana Oil Company Limited (GOIL), he stated, the remaining 98% relied on the informal sector for jobs.
He made mention that, last year alone, the country produced more than 90,000 graduates but most of them have remained unemployed. He however, commended the government for introducing the Nation Builders Corps (NaBco) program, which he said engaged 100,000 out of the 160,000 graduates who applied for the program last year.
The Director for Business Support for NEIP also expressed worry over the country’s depleting unemployment situation, calling on students to develop interest and engage in entrepreneurship.
This he believes, will get them jobs. “Your certificates alone are not enough to grant you jobs”, he told the students and challenged them to form groups and do extra curricula activities as well as develop business modules and ideas, he said.
He used the occasion to speak about what NEIP has been doing in this regards, indicating that, last year, the NEIP trained about 70,000 unemployed graduates, but was able to support about 2,000 of them to establish and expand their businesses.
On his part, the Vice Chancellor the university, Prof. Ing. Kwadwo Adinkrah – Appiah who spoke at the seminar, themed, “Changing Minds From Job Seekers to Job Creators; Adopting Entrepreneurship as a Career Option,” noted that since entrepreneurship was one of the most trending fields with vast scope for self-employment and innovation.
He admonished students that, “Instead of being job seekers, our students would be Job Providers.”
Meanwhile, the Sunyani Technical University, through its Business/Entrepreneurship Development and External Funding Unit, is setting up Business and Entrepreneurship Development Center (BEDC), an entrepreneurship hub with support from Goil Ghana Limited.
The hub according to the Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr. Justice Solomon Korantwi the center will focus on “guiding students to go into self-employment,” thereby, creating an Employer Culture. Dr. Korantwi – Barimah, the, noted that youth unemployment could be reduced if students considered opting for entrepreneurship programs.
He stressed that, the Entrepreneurship Center will motivate students to be dedicated entrepreneurs while the it strives to narrow the gap between industry expectations and student capabilities.
In addition, he maintained, the center’s support to entrepreneurship, saying, “The self-initiated effort is aimed at supporting our students, business and other innovators, to recognize opportunities, develop, launch and commercialize ideas and motivate them to bring out their entrepreneurship skills.”
Dr Korantwi-Barimah thanked GOIL for the support to the University and advised the students to take advantage of the Center, which would become a catalyst in facilitating emergence of competent first generation entrepreneurs.
This can be achieved through the transitioning of existing Small and Medium Enterprises into growth oriented enterprises through skills development training, awareness creation programs, research and institution building.