On Thursday, 19th January, 2023 the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations held a one day consultative meeting with Persons with Disability (PWDs) to solicit their inputs on the ongoing implementation of the Ghana Jobs and Skills Project (GJSP) to enable the Ministry implement measures that would address their needs.
The GJSP being funded by the World Bank is part of efforts to develop and operationalise the Ghana Labour Market Information System (GLMIS), revamp 16 Public Employment Centres (PECs) and enhance skills development across the country.
The GJSP is also intended at creating a user friendly, web based, easily accessible and a one stop shop Labour Market Information System that will generate accurate and timely labour market information for policy decision as well as offer the platform to help job seekers, employers and other relevant stakeholders within the labour market find jobs and be linked to jobs. It is further to ensure that the project deliverables are useful and accessible to all segments of the labour force across Ghana.
Hon. Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, said these in a speech read on his behalf in Accra.
Speaking, the Hon. Minister pointed out the difficulties and the challenges that PWDs face in job placement and employment, adding the ministry is aware that the most effective way to ensure social inclusion was to promote sustainable job creation for PWDs, thus the meeting to receive their inputs.
He further enquired on how many of the PWDs require assistance in order to be placed in particular sectors of the economy, the type of assistance that is required as well as the specific employment promotion intervention and labour active policies that needs to be implemented to support job creation among PWDs.
The Project Coordinator of GJSP and Deputy Director at the Ministry, Mr. Ernest Berko, noted that, the lack of labour market information on the PWDs such as those employed, unemployed, skilled, semi-skilled was a challenge to the ministry. “The population of PWDs was estimated at 5 million, however, data on PWDs seeking jobs are not available and this is affecting government policies”, he said.
Mr. Berko therefore called on the representatives of PWDs to support the ministry to develop a responsive system that would be useful in linking them up to employers who may need their skills and expertise in industry.
The PWDs representative expressed interest in the project and indicated that unemployment among PWD’s was a major challenge and hoped that the platform will be accessible to the PWDs as well, since they have been marginalized in terms of jobs.
The Project Manager in charge of employment with the Ghana Blind Union, Mr. Bismark Amoh, appealed that there should be some exception for PWD’s in terms of age limit for job seekers, indicating that “although acceptable age of youth is from 18 to 35, for them it should be extended to 45 to get more PWDs job seekers covered, as many spend more years developing their skills and expertise due to our disability, so pegging it at 35 will be a disadvantage to many of us”.
He also encouraged employers not to discriminate against PWDs in all aspect of employment relationships. The GJSP is being implemented by the ministry in collaboration with the Ministries of Education, Finance and Environment Science and Technology. The project will enhance state stability, social cohesion and economic inclusion.
In all, more than 45 participants attended the programme including groups of representatives from PWD’s and Ministries, Departments and Agencies.