The unemployment situation in Ghana, must give genuine cause for concern and compel concerted, proactive action by all stakeholders, if the situation is not to degenerate further.
The president, John Dramani Mahama, has repeatedly spoken of the need for the diversification of the Ghanaian economy as a most sustainable way to mitigate unemployment.
It is also noteworthy, however, that side by side with this, opportunities still abound in the public service which can assist with the mitigation of the unemployment scourge, if only we can take a another look at the retirement age of 60.
A lot of young, energetic youth graduate from our educational institutions at every level, and just a few of them, get the opportunity for employment.
The National Service Scheme (NSS) this year, deployed a little over 70,000 personnel to both private and public sectors and these students are from 137 tertiary institutions across the country, as well as those who have completed their studies abroad.
This means by the time the service period is up next year, you will have these students out to compete with the backlog that already exist for those who served in previous years for non-existing vacancies.
In order to arrest this situation, which is a national security threat, we have to reduce retirement age from 60 to maybe 55 or 50.
These days, many people are done with their tertiary education at an average of 23, so if the person is fortunate enough to get employment, how many years will the person work till he or she retires?
Public service agencies straddle sectors of the economy, including but not limited to agriculture, culture, communications, defence, education, electricity, environment, events, finance, health, press, law enforcement, petroleum, trade, transportation and many more, could be avenues to employ more than 100,000 graduates, should we decide to reduce the retirement age.
The 60 years, has served its purpose, it was imperative when we did not have enough workforce and our population was small, but now it is obvious we need to do something about it and very urgent.