Abdul-Razak Lukman: If the economy is doing well, why is it so hard to find job?


One major mistake we do make as a country is to always believe and act that a university degree is automatically an entrance to a well-paying job in our economic lives.

That notion should be dropped to harness an open mind that embraces all categories of people who have the potential, skills, and feasibility to do a particular work.

That is not to say that a school degree is useless, No! But those who have the potentials without formal education should be picked up and fine-tuned to meet both national and international standards without necessarily going through a four-year programme in a university.

The fact should be about the competence to do work and not just the paper degree as a license.

When policymakers give an open eye into our recruitment system especially in areas of STEM, practically, it will help boost the economy and companies will make more profit.

In that, more competent and genuine hands will come on board, with some without university degrees but practically competent enough to execute the work of industries/companies that will go a long way to harvest more profit.

By extension, companies will have more money to spend and of course want to expand their businesses. And so to be competitive, they will seek to hire the best of the best people who can really execute the work and not just a certificated graduate. 

I always ask myself this question whenever I see myself and others going through unnecessary rigorous scrutiny for non-existent jobs: “If the economy is doing well, why is it so hard to find a job?.”

At a point, one has to understand that you need to break into the hurdles and create your own monetary stream to be able to survive the rigors of the unemployment canker.

No matter how small it could be, don’t sit aloof, do something and get focused. Whether you’re good in writing, IT, engineering, or whatever, search online and maybe, you can get an online job while working on establishing your own.

Seek advice from industry players or businessmen and women who are ready to give you a free consultation on the way forward. In all that, be truthful, diligent, credible, and remain fair– never try to take shortcuts.

In our modern-day job fair in Ghana, it remains clear that the education industry oversells certain fields and does not address needed fields.

Plumbers and electricians can make a very good living but need to go through an apprentice program to do so; not a university.

We have an uncountable number of youth who have practical knowledge in plumbing, electricals, air-conditioning repair and fixing, mobile phones repair, carpentry as well as those in the automobile industry.

Most of them don’t have certificates but are good at what they do. Why can’t we have a better way of fine-tuning their core knowledge into certificated ones if we’re so much into people brandishing certificates!

Even with those having the certificates, how many of them have been employed in the respective sectors?! We are seeing a system that employs a building and technology student into the banking sector because it is who you know. Isn’t it sad!

We need to understand as a growing nation that employment and economic prosperity are two different things.

The economy does well based on productivity/value generated per person. It does not do well based on employing lots of people.

You don’t employ a certificate holder who has no competence in the field and leave the competent certificate-less person and expect economic prosperity.

You don’t employ someone into a field he/she has little knowledge of– despite the job orientation, it won’t still amount to something fruitful.

As Alexis Herman said: “Education is important because, first of all, people need to know that discrimination still exists. It is still real in the workplace, and we should not take that for granted.”

Author; Abdul-Razak Lukman, abdulrazaklukman6@gmail.com

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