I think Africa is really getting to understand the word “scrap” a lot. Not too long I read somewhere that Hon. Algban Gbagbin says he will scrap ex-gratia when he becomes president of Ghana. That is if he ever becomes president, considering the fact that he has been in parliament for over 20 years and has taken so many ex-gratias himself.
May be he should refund all the ex-gratias he has taken so far then we can take him serious as an aspiring presidential candidate until then I don’t think he needs to be taken serious at this very promise.
Among all the pressing issues in government, mere scrapping of ex-gratia does not warrant your ticket into presidency. It doesn’t only take “scraps” to become a president else we will give the country to scrap dealers to manage it for us.
Anyway all jokes aside, the South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, has added a very important meaning to the word “scrap” by scrapping experience requirements for new job seekers. Now, I say that is a very serious “scrap” we are talking about and Ghana or the rest of Africa for that matter needs to emulate this positive move. Job seekers have really being bedeviled by this societal cankerworm of “experience requirement”.
I am of the view that apart from managerial roles, all other roles in an organisation should not come with experience requirement because as a manager you need to teach your subordinates but how do you do that if you are inexperienced yourself?
I mean where do you expect a fresh graduate from school to gain experience from? Our school curricula has not been designed to inculcate practical experience that by the time you finish school, you would have had both the theoritical and the needed practical experience for the job market.
I remember seeing two news item on TV where a university graduate was selling wares in traffic and another turned coconut seller because of unemployment and I believe largely it could either be because they lack the professional experience or may be the choice of courses they offered in the universities weren’t appropriate for the Ghanaian job market.
Besides, the jobs are just not there to absorb them. I consider this a socio-economic problem and very disheatening indeed. I mean in other countries, all you need is the business idea after school, loan facilities are there to help you start up. The likes of Mark Zukerberg and Bill Gates were all from universities and now are world billionaires.
Kwame Nkrumah introduced vaccation work in our second cycle and tertiary institutions during his time of reign but different governments have equally “scrapped” it with their own policies which I am not sure helps in the experience requirement for any graduate.
In Nkrumah’s time graduates would work in Companies during vaccation and that gave them quite some experience in their field of endeavour. Infact, most companies do absorb them after they finish school as well.
Well, I should think in a way that system is back as I see many undergraduates in offices I visit who are still in school. I also see this as a very good initiative that needs to be encouraged. I usually see them in government institutions mostly, I cannot however say much for the private institutions.
But here is what I think, most Companies are lazy and stingy that they don’t want to spend time and a dime in training fresh graduates. They are only interested in those who have worked for several years and accumulated quite some level of experiences for themselves, the “already made” or “cooked” type do these employers seek. They are just like some women I know who only want to marry rich men but don’t want to struggle with the poor ones to make life happen.
Who should train someone for you to come and poach the person? I consider this a corporate and intellectual burglary. Nurture and train your own human resource as an organisation and make them useful for your setting and purpose.
In most organisation, budget for every expenditure is high but not for training and development. I remember a particular ministry called Trade and Industry insisting that a certain company I know should do well to increase their training and development budget as it was low every year under review.
The advantages of employing and training these fresh graduates is this; they are able to quickly adjust to the organisation since they are fresh from school with eagerness to learn new things and fit quickly into the corporate world.
As virgin lands their yields are bumper. These fresh graduates are young, energetic, committed, curious, observatory, willing to undertake any task and may have fresh ideas and perspective in doing the same task in the company.
They help to cut down cost as compared to those already experienced who you sometimes you have to poach from other companies at a very high cost and maintenance also.
The down side to it is that after you end up training some of them on the job they get greedy and go and sell the experience they have gotten to other companies or your competitors. But even with that I believe if they are well taken care of by way of incentives most of them would hardly leave for other companies.
Which ever way I strongly believe that there must be the readiness and willingness for corporate Ghana to absorb fresh graduates or job seekers who do not have much experience. Train them and make them useful in society instead of them suffering from unemployment and its looming effect in our country today.
Universities should also undertake marketeable courses that have ready markets for employment not fancy courses that makes it difficult for graduates to be employed when they leave school.
Corporate Ghana must also invest in our educational sector and give schorlarships to students in school to read courses that will make them readily absorbable into our insitutions.
Most institutions should begin to regard national service as experience and corporate Ghana must put all seriousness in training people who are on national service and absorb them. If you can use them during national service, I don’t see why you cannot employ them after they are done with their service?
Most companies take pride in using people that are on national service but are reluctant to employ them or offer them jobs after they are done because they see it as though a new set will arrive for us to use them.
Some organisations don’t also employ again because of the national service scheme because after all if you can use these graduates why do you have to employ experienced professionals?
As much as it might look economical as companies cut costs laziliy by resorting to service personnels, the long term effect is that it represents a drain on the intellectual capacity of the company if you don’t employ them after they have served. To the service personnel the experience is worthwhile. I believe there can be an equittable balance between employing service personnels and professionals at large.
South Africa has taken the lead in scrapping this experience requirement pandemonium, will Ghana also follow suit? I personally believe that a nation’s experienced youth is a plus to our human resource capacity so corporate Ghana must help in that direction and as a nation, we need to completely scrap such a requirement on our job market especially for first time job seekers below managerial roles.