Youth Employment and Employability

Background

The problem of youth unemployment and underemployment is a major development challenge for young people, the private sector, and governments. Employment creation remains a major challenge in many developing countries, including Ghana, and it is the goal of YPWC to provide young people with opportunities for employment. Research studies show that 80 percent of youth who complete High School are not able to further their education to the tertiary levels due to inadequate employable skills and financial assistance – in terms of those who would like to venture into youth entrepreneurship. In recent times there have been significant numbers of youths who migrate in search of jobs and trade, which in some cases are nonexistent. According to a business survey by YPWC in Ghana, most of the young girls would like to get involved in agriculture (mainly planting of groundnuts, mangos, and rearing of chicken). However the lack of business start-up credit facilities and low knowledge in business plan development yield their dreams unsuccessfully.

Intervention

The program is specifically addressing youth unemployment in Ghanaian local communities, which over the years has triggered crime, illicit activities, and youth migration to the cities in search of jobs and skills development. The numbers of rural-urban migrant youth who leave rural communities for cities like Tamale, Kumasi, and Accra is huge and has negative effects on the community’s socio-economic development. YPWC provides information for young people to enhance their awareness of employment opportunities, implement skills training opportunities, and then seek support for young people to utilize acquired skills. Thus this programme provides youth with entrepreneurial skills training, mentoring, business opportunity identification, and provision of a small venture start-up loans scheme (SVSLS) to award young people who have viable business ideas to develop their own small-scale ‘blue’ businesses or jobs. Meetings/Trainings are held on the last Saturday of each month. This has the potential to reduce irregular migration while enhancing the capacity of young people to contribute to economic growth locally.

Approach

  • “Be the Change Academy” Pilot – Provide technical support and training to meet entrepreneurial requirements for youth employment.
  • Mobilize young potential entrepreneurs to be empowered through resource persons and provide training in soap making, pomade making, pastries, etc.
  • If funding is not granted, this club could create a network of youth interested in starting their own enterprises. Collectively they could create alternative ways to achieve their goals.
  • Business plan competition leading to selection of best innovative ideas capable of being funded with some grants or loans.

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