Graduates need retraining to fit job market – UT boss

Prince Kofi Amoabeng, President of UT Holdings, says it has become critical for employers to upgrade the skills of fresh graduates to enable them contribute meaningfully to the business process.

He believes that the facilities available in the various tertiary institutions does not make it possible for them (universities) to train graduates to fit what employers want hence the need for additional training when there are employed.

“During our time in the university, the standard of education was so high that before you graduate companies come to make a pitch so as soon as you come out you fit into the job.

“Because standards have fallen you still need the graduates but you have to upgrade them in the process that will ensure the work goes on.

“It is not about the graduates, it is about the resources and facilities which are inadequate. So it creates a situation where there are about 100 students studying in one class,” Mr. Amoabeng said when selected staff of the company graduated from the UT Academy as part of its Graduate Development Programme in Accra.

He said the facilities such as libraries, laboratory and other essential materials that are key to the training of the students are not enough so they are not well prepared to face the job market.

Mr. Amoabeng is one of many prominent entrepreneurs who shared the same view on the country’s education system.

Experts believe that the state of education in the country will restrict the ability to transform the economy from a middle-income country with HIPC infrastructure, low total factor productivity and weak systems to the status of a developed economy.

Already, employers complain about the quality of graduates at all levels of education, with some decidedly giving preference to Ghanaians who have schooled abroad. The price of the crisis in education will be a major constraint on the country’s ability to accelerate economic development.

The country’s unemployment rate has gone up to nearly 40 percent graduate not getting job when they complete tertiary education.

Head of the economic Division at the institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER), Dr. Charles Ackah, has said recently that Ghana is sitting on a time bomb due to the worsening graduate unemployment situation in the country.

This to him is because the current economic situation has drastically reduced both the government and the private sector’s capacity to employ people. Currently there are over 200,000 unemployed graduates in Ghana.

Over 71,000 graduates are churn out of school every year onto the job market from both private and public tertiary institutions.

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