The Youth Inclusive Entrepreneurial Development Initiative for Employment (YIEDIE) held a summit on Youth in Construction on August 10, 2016. Attended by over 350 frontliners in the construction sector, stakeholders from public, private and non-governmental organizations who are working specially with youth or the construction industry, as well as representatives from a slew of media houses and the Minister of State in charge of Private Sector Development and Public-Private Partnership, were all present at the function.
In order to address the growing challenge of unemployment among the youth in Ghana, the programme is intended to encourage more young people to get involved in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) so that they can enhance their practical skills and enable them to become more employable and capable of even starting their own businesses in the sector.
Identifying key areas in which the government has played its role in encouraging such initiatives, Dr. Abdul Rashid Hassan Pelpuo, the Minister of State in charge of Private Sector Development and Public Private Partnerships, expressed his excitement about the program, and urged the youth of the country to participate. A presentation on Ghana’s construction sector and youth employment revealed that perceptions about the sector affects the kind and number of youth who are drawn to it. Training and policy needs were also highlighted, as well as the need to include people with disabilities (PWD) in plans for the sector. A second presentation focused on the need for more relevant and applicable academic research specific to the industry.
In conclusion, five priority areas were identified for significant reform and youth engagement in the construction sector are:
- Policy development for foreign construction firms to recruit some percentage of local labour
- Establishment of independent Construction Industry Development Authority for oversight and coordination in the industry
- Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to be made more inclusive for people with disabilities, without discrimination
- Development of standards and certification for training and implementation of construction
- Provision of incentives for TVET students and private organizations who engage their services.