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Feature Article of Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Columnist: Mensah, Robert

Unilever And Graduate Recruitment In Ghana

Doing my national service in Cape Coast in 2001/2002, I used to visit the Cape Coast University campus frequently. On one of my visits I saw an advertisement of Unilever of Ghana recruiting young and fresh graduates from the country’s universities, for the posts of Management Trainees.

I recently applied for the position of Marketing Manager (intern) with Universum in Sweden, an international company that recruits graduates for companies worldwide, and although I was not among the final 20 students selected (ten for Sweden and the other ten for New York) after a test and two interviews, I was admitted into their network, Nova Global, with the reason that although I did well in the recruitment process they had a lot of candidates with qualifications and experience in marketing, I have only around a year experience in marketing, and no qualification in it, and so they will keep my details and contact me any time they get a position related to my fields of study.
I visited their website some few weeks ago, and saw another advertisement of their branch in America recruiting graduates exclusively from American universities for the positions of Trainee Managers for Unilever in Ghana.
I have recently been reading articles from a group called the Unemployed Graduates of Ghana, or something like that, saying that they are not getting jobs and putting pressure on the government to create more jobs. And while these people are there not working in the country, Unilever is recruiting graduates from universities in America.
In most of the western countries, companies, whether local or international, are asked to employ their citizens first, then permanent residents before considering other foreigners; and I believe our leaders need to let the companies in Ghana do the same. There are even some positions that some immigrants and a group of people unofficially labelled second-class citizens find difficult to get in these countries.
I know there are a lot of Ghanaians abroad, who have done their bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees and are doing jobs they are not happy with, and want to come home but are apprehensive of not getting jobs when they return; and so if Unilever is recruiting people from the U.S. to let them return home, fine. But even then it must not be only graduates from American Universities.
Are they saying that the graduates from the Ghanaian universities are not competent for those positions?

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