Labour data to tackle job-drought

The Africa Centre for Economic Transformation (ACET) has partnered with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) to develop a comprehensive talent mobility programme that will facilitate the free movement of excess skills in ECOWAS member-countries.

The two bodies, with funding from the World Bank, are currently engaging related stakeholders toward the creation of a labour market information system that will link excess skills to labour demands across the region.

The creation and development of the Labour Market Information System (LMIS) will inform the drawing-up of a TMP programme, whose benefits will include addressing the teeming unemployment rate and vast mismatch between industry and academia within the sub-region.

Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, addressing workshop participants in Accra said the LMIS programme will give a clear picture of the country’s labour market situation, and make intra-regional migration more of an economic solution than a problem.

This, he said, will facilitate the effective implementation of employment-generating policies and programmes, and help to track the impact of those interventions on the welfare of Ghanaians.

“Establishment of the Ghana LMIS will help address the issue of unemployment which has become a global challenge, as it will serve as reliable employment-related data that will determine available skill-sets and gaps in industry.

“Primarily, the system will link job-seekers to job-providers — thereby helping to reduce the teeming number of unemployed youth in the country, which remains a serious threat,” he said.

The number of graduate job-seekers keeps growing at an alarming rate despite the incessant cry of lacking relevant human capital from industries.

According to discussants at the workshop, the situation has more to do with a skills mismatch that can only be solved through the free movement of talent within the sub-region.

Under the TMP programme, sending countries will cut down their rate of unemployment, while receiving countries will access the much-needed human capital to fill gaps in industry.

Mr. Iddrisu added: “Intra-regional migration should not be seen as a problem but rather as part of the solutions to the economic growth of the region.

“But without a coordinated and legitimised human capital, mobility becomes chaotic and perilous to advancing economic transformation — which restrains the right skills from filling in the right sectors at the right time.”

Mr. Iddrisu indicated that the continent stands to gain significantly from the labour transfer concept, as it has a high rate of intra-regional migration — and called for increased cooperation on labour market issues to ensure the programme’s success and sustainability.