The Ghana immigration services has been selling application forms for GHS50 since November 2017. To date 84,000 Ghanaians mostly unemployed youth have bought these forms.

Yesterday over 15,000 Ghanaians who were shortlisted congregated at the El Wak Stadium, in Accra Alone. It is estimated that out of the 84,000 who bought forms over 47,000 have been shortlisted.

Each person lined up on the streets along the El Wak Stadiumwhere they were all vying for an opportunity to gain employment with Ghana Immigration Services. Similar activities went on the rest of our regions. Ghana Immigration Services generated a cool 4.2 million cedis from this recruitment drive. According to Ghanaweb 84,000 people have applied for the job—when the available vacancy is just for 500 people. There is a debate in across social media and mainstream media about how many forms should be printed or the amount of money the forms should be sold for.Understandably there is outrage at this act of exploitation but we are all missing an important point, it’s important we dig a little deeper into the implications of a government agency taking advantage of vulnerable desperate jobless young people for profit through such recruitment practices.

The key to all this lies in the existing laws which are seldom used and applied in Ghana. The Labour Act of 2003 states that public centers of Employment should be established. According to the Labour act these centres will be responsible for registering employed and unemployed persons, there is a long list of duties these centres are expected to perform throughout the year. The employment data from the employment Centres are meant to serve as a means for Government agencies to conduct their recruitment exercises. You can have millions of people on this database and by a click of a mouse, shortlist qualified candidates for any recruitment purposes. With such a database Our Government agencies can use the information to plan, and identify opportunities to train, empower and identify talent for their labour force. Right Now we’re poking in the dark. So we’ve maintained our current crude Labour recruitment practices for over 14 years even though we have strong laws providing clear guidelines of recruiting employees. By law no employer should charge applicants money to provide employment. The cost of recruitment should be borne by the organisation.
The 50 cedi application charge should be seen as an act of fraud. If our authorities want suggestions to stop this they should revisit our Labour Act 2003. In Ghana it seems that we have all the laws but seldom do we have the right people to implement them.

What happened at El Wak Stadium should never happen again. The Ministry of Labour and Employment should set up these Employment Centres and put an end to this exploitative archaic Labour recruitment practices.

By : Kate Tutu
Business Consultant, Entrepreneur and Social Analyst


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