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Graduates entering job market ‘too early’ – Prof Baah-Boateng laments

May 9, 2018, 1:50 p.m.

Associate Professor at the Economics Department of the University of Ghana, Prof William Baah-Boateng, has urged the government to begin planning ahead for the employment needs of beneficiaries of the free SHS.

He reckons that in about seven years, the teeming number of students currently in school will come to add to the already huge unemployment figures, hence the need to begin preparations to absorb them into the job market.

Prof Baah-Boateng, who is well-versed in labour economics, labour market institutions and skills development said although the free SHS is a good initiative, it is a worry that, just like a typical university graduate, beneficiaries of the free secondary school initiative will leave the university too young, inexperienced and lacking strong skills.

“We have our education system reformed in 1987 that shortened the duration a bit and it seems we are having people enter the labour market earlier than what is supposed to be. Because now students, at the age of 20-21 [years], are out of the university and entering the labour market.

“And we have to also look at it [and see] whether graduates are ripe to enter the labour market. We need to look at whether the kind of training that we are giving to them is enough and therefore when they come out of school they are ready for the labour market. Because if we rush them through and get them to the labour market so early and the jobs are not there that will also have its own challenges,” said.

The Associate Professor was speaking on PM Express, a current affairs programme on MultiTV on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

He lauded the current government for implementing the free SHS programme, noting that “an educated people without a job are better than uneducated people without a job. If you have an educated people and they know where they are, they can be smart and create something for themselves.”

He said he expects that by seven years the government would have put pragmatic measures in place in order that the number of graduates will be adequately absorbed.

“If you wait until six or seven years, it will come back and bite our tongue. The inflow is quite heavy,” he urged the government.