On Tuesday I visited the studios of X fm to discuss the graduate unemployment challenges Ghana faces. Just last week the Unemployment Graduates Association of Ghana (UGAG) carried out a protest at the Ministry of Education, holding our Government responsible for their lack of employment and demanding that Government remedy their unemployment situation. Radio X fm, during their breakfast show explored the issue.
According to Boateng and Ofori (2002), in 1995 only 13.4% of jobs requiring university education also demanded computer skills; 0.4% also demanded communication skills; 1.5% also demanded personal attributes. The demand increased in 2000 to 45.7% for computer skills; 38.6% and 41.8% for communication skills and personal attributes.
Many of us would be quick to point out the problems with the information presented above, the demands of our graduates over just 5 years as the study states has changed drastically. Employment criteria has changed dramatically. As a young graduate or university student, such information should galvanize you to make the extra efforts to meet the rigorous demands of our new economy.
Develop your soft skills, communication abilities and build your social capital by widening your networks participate in practical training programs; take part in extracurricular activities; volunteer at your local church, NGO, school or a hospital. This will help to prepare you for the job market when you graduate.
I also shared some vital information on how to improve your chances of getting employed or raising funds to start your own project or business.
1) Ask someone to objectively rate your CV, check for spelling, grammatical errors. Your CV should be tailored to the specific requirements of the job you are applying for. Do not send the same cover letter and CV for different job offers.
3) Lack of funding is not an excuse and should not stop you from starting your project or business. Banks are not the only source of funding to access capital. Use crowd funding websites like www.zequs.com ; www.gofundme.com or www.crowdrise.com
4) Lastly have a positive attitude, do not lose hope, take initiative, and always FOCUS ON FINDING SOLUTIONS TO YOUR PROBLEMS
It was an interesting experience discussing this topic with a young Ghanaian man who called in from Kumasi. During my conversation with him I came to a few realizations about the psyche of our people. For decades we have had to endure so many challenges and set backs that we are so focused and obsessed with our problems. We can no longer see further than the obstacles in our way. I do hope that in time we will begin to see past our nation’s challenges and become SOLUTIONS FOCUSED. That is the only way we can effect change in our communities and to participate in the economic and social development of our country. That is the only way your life will change.
I will leave you with a quote from Albert Einstein “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Do something different, take heed of the solutions I have presented and start to transform your life.
You can listen to radio Xfm 95.1 fm or on http://www.xfm951.com/radio.html every Tuesday morning from 8:30 am for more advice from me.