Stop campaign rhetoric and fix unemployment challenges -TUC tells parties
The Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has challenged political parties to come up with strategies to address unemployment, instead of mere electioneering promises to tackle the problem.
The Chairman of the TUC, Reverend Richard K .Yeboah, said, “Unemployment is a problem that is well recognised across the political divide but it has received scanty attention beyond electioneering rhetoric. For the TUC, political parties will be measured on how they deliver their promises on employment after they win the elections.’’
A launch of a project meant to enhance employment creation in the country at Peduase in the Eastern Region yesterday, he said, “Any government that fails to implement sustainable policies on job creation will throw the future of the country into jeopardy owing to the fact that unemployment is the single largest economic and social problem facing the country.’’
Known as: “Strengthening the impact of sector and trade policies on employment in Ghana’’, the project is being undertaken by the International Labour Organisation (ILO), with funding from the European Union (EU).
Other collaborators in the two-year project are the Ministry of Labour and Employment Relations (MELR), the Ministry of Trade and Industries (MOTI), the TUC and the Ghana Employers Association (GEA).
Move beyond rhetoric
Rev. Yeboah said politicians and policy makers ought to come up with concrete solutions to unemployment, instead of just making promises.
He explained that it was an indictment on the leaders of the country that despite consistent economic growth over the last three decades, “Ghana’s economy is not creating enough employment in the formal sector’’.
“Instead, employment in the country has rapidly shifted to the informal sector, a situation which has led to low earnings, inequality and constant abuse of workers by some employers,’’ he explained.
On ways of curbing the high level of unemployment in the country, Rev. Yeboah said the government must invest more in creating jobs.
“When people have jobs to do, the tax base can spread, so that the high taxes on commodities will be reduced. The government must provide massive support for sectors that have the potential to create more jobs,’’ he said.
In his address, the Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), Dr Nii Moi Thompson, said there was the need for the country to come up with a labour market database to identify the number of people who were unemployed.
Such a database, he said, would help in the formulation of an effective policy to deal with the unemployment problem facing the country.
Speaking on the importance of the project, the EU Ambassador to Ghana, Mr William Hanna, said it would help the country formulate policies and action plans that would have a positive impact on the labour market.
“The EU wants to ensure equitable and sustainable trade development. The very aim of boosting trade is to trigger the creation of decent jobs,’’ he said.
For his part, the ILO Director for Anglophone West Africa, Mr Dennis Zulu, said the project would help devise tools that “can support the formulation of coherent trade and labour market policies for the further creation of decent employment”.