Skill gap analysis and intervention for Junior High School leavers in the Eastern Region of Ghana
One of the serious concerns with various governments in Africa is unemployment and underemployment. In Ghana the problem of unemployment and underemployment is on the increase. The educational reforms embarked in 1986 seem not to have yielded the desired results. After the mandatory basic education from primary school through to Junior High School (JHS), graduates were expected to have acquired basic skills to be able to get themselves decent employment after school. However, the various workshops and laboratories provided in 1986 are now nonexistent (Okai R. 2007). With only forty-seven percent (47%) of qualified graduates entering the Senior High School (SHS) in the country, school leavers are obliged to enter the informal sector with no skill to fend for themselves and even in some instances, for their families. Ironically, with insufficient funds for vocational training and even non availability of government supported training centers, these young souls have to struggle their way through traditional apprenticeships and or on-the-job training, the informal training with individual trainers (masters). // This study examines skills training provision as on-the-job apprenticeship training, short-term modular training and longer-term pre-employment training. The mode and efficiency of the delivery in these contexts were also examined to evaluate their effectiveness on graduates’ labour market outcomes as well as the preference. // Multiple approaches were used to achieve the objectives of the study; household survey on 350 JHS school leavers in the Eastern region of Ghana, a tracer study on 165 vocational training graduates as well as interview with 120 apprentices. To appreciate the nature and form of training given to apprentices, the challenges faced as well as the needed interventions, ninety-five (95) self employed trainers in the informal sector (owners of small enterprises) were also interviewed. // This study revealed that about seventy five percent (75%) who enter into apprenticeship abandon the training mainly due to lack of funds and equipment. Again, eighty five (85%) of the trainers or owners of small scale businesses desire to be given further training because they lack modern skill in today’s business world. The study suggests that a major training programme is to be given to both trainees and trainers over time to support trainees and upgrade skills of trainers. // Paper ID: 111
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