Need to encourage skills development to support the growing economy – Ms Adjei

Ms Elizabeth Adjei, Director of Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), on Wednesday noted that the country needed to fashion a policy that would create a pool of skills to support the nation’s growing economy.

She said the State must recognise its role in the production of required skills and invest in training, increase national capacity and ensure that education outputs were aligned with development paradigms.

Ms Adjei made the observation at a Breakfast meeting with Chief Executive Officers organised by the Ghana Employers Association (GEA).

The forum serves as a platform for business leaders and captains of industry to engage policy makers in a healthy atmosphere on critical issues of concern to employers.

Ms Adjei pointed out that there was the tendency for the nation to ignore career development and training of locals, as expatriates could always be involved in industry, especially the extractive industry.

She said: “There is no reason why after a century of extractive mining operations in Ghana, we still need a large brigade of foreign experts for exploration, construction and production of gold and other minerals, while countries such as Peru and Philippines are now exporting highly trained skilled and unskilled labour.”

However, Ms Adjei acknowledged that there was certainly a skills gap that must be filled by imported skills labour but cautioned the type of skills that were imported.

She explained that the Immigration Act was a principal law both regulatory and promotional, and under the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), immigration quotas were tied to the level of investment.

Ms Adjei said it was not enough to say that foreigners were taking the jobs and therefore, the need to protect the national sovereignty, explaining that some expatriates responded to job adverts on the internet from countries as far as Tajikistan and Samoa, and if they had the requisite qualification for a job, they could not be prevented from applying.

“We cannot rigidly restrict access to imported skilled labour as we acknowledge the increasing need for highly skilled technical and managerial expertise. We have to have a credible response to the changes in the internationalisation of the labour market,” she added.

Ms Adjei, nevertheless, said the nation might also examine or facilitate access to Ghanaians with requisite skills in the Diaspora and suggested that the country needed to establish a database with demographic profile, skills, qualification, and age, to plug into this database when a vacancy was declared.

Mr Oko Nikoi-Dzani, Second Vice President of Ghana Employers Association, said the main concern was how the nation would work hard enough to put in place mechanisms to measure or monitor the appropriate level of transfer of knowledge, skill and technology in appropriate depths in the expected areas for which immigration quotas were granted.

Source: GNA

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