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General News of Monday, 21 December 2015

Source: Graphic.com.gh

‘Build opportunities for fresh graduates to flourish’

The Managing Director of Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Kenneth Ashigbey, has stated that it was a ‘grave sin’ for any product of the country’s tertiary institution to join the unemployed graduate association because opportunities abound to make them self-reliant and to employ people.

‘Don’t leave school hoping to be employed. Start thinking of how you can employ people. Think big and global but start small with an insatiable aptitude and appetite of greatness,’ Mr Ashigbey told the 39th graduation class of the Christian Service University College in Kumasi.

It was under the theme: ‘Graduate unemployment and university education in Ghana: the role of key stakeholders.’

In all 336 students including 205 males graduated at the school which also marked the school’s 40 years in existence.

Cataloguing a litany of what could make most graduates unemployable, the Graphic Managing Director stated among others a mismatch of qualifications with employers’ needs; opportunities and challenges in the environment.

He also noted lack of supply and demand of information in the labour market among others which needed to be addressed to change the status quo.

Enabling environment

Mr Ashigbey said as a way of addressing the conundrum government would have to first build the enabling environment for Ghanaians first before others.

‘The Ghanaian self-hatred must stop. Let’s build opportunities for our graduates to flourish here in Ghana. Opportunities for them to create businesses and also to own the heights of industries within, so they can be empowered to also go and compete,’ the MD said.

He said the country also needs to offer opportunities for local companies to expand to absorb graduates.

Long term

On the long term solutions however, Mr Ashigbey, an engineer by profession said government should formulate ways to ensure that issues on education, training of skills were incorporated into the macroeconomic policies, planning and research.

He said the government also needs to make data and statistics on everything available especially on identification systems, to know who is where.

Offering a wide-range of solutions, the Graphic MD zeroed in on career counseling at all levels of education and said that should have mandatory contact periods and properly supervised.

He said key to making graduate relevant in these changing times was for them to acquire communications skills, language proficiency especially in the French and entrepreneurial skills

Mr Ashigbey called for a collaboration between education and industry with regular fairs where students exhibit their talents through various projects and are assisted after school to actualise their dreams.

He also suggested the formalisation of the career day programme early in schools which will provide students with opportunities to select their options as well as impart a reality check on their expectations from the management and customers.

The MD bemoaned graduates who failed to impact their parents’ businesses with their education to take them to the next level after the same businesses had contributed in seeing them through school.

He called for a change of attitude and perception among graduates because the ‘best way to make it is working for yourself and not for others.’

The president of the CSUC, Prof Sam Afrane, announced the establishment of a research fund to promote broad-based research programmes and encourage interdisciplinary research within the school.

He also announced a plan to organise the first-ever international conference in the college to address future challenges and promote research across global institutions.