By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Vodafone Ghana’s Chief Executive Yolanda Cuba has expressed Vodafone’s commitment to connecting Ghana’s upcoming youthful generation to the new world of work through the Vodafone Digital Skill portal.
According to her the newly launched Vodafone Digital Skills portal is a very timely tool to equip the youth with the necessary skills and know-how to embrace the increasing demands of the world of work.
In a statement issued in Accra after the unveiling of one of it world’s largest Digital Jobs programme ‘The Vodafone Digital Skill Portal’ Ms Cuba noted that “Over time, every workplace will go digital, creating accelerating demand for a wide range of specialist technology skills. We want to help connect the new generation to the new world of work,”
Her comment comes at a time where unemployment among young people is rising just as businesses of all types and sizes are struggling to fill a wide range of digital technology roles that are critical for future growth. A recent report commissioned by the Ghana Statistical Service revealed that more than 1.2 million persons from 15 years and older are unemployed in Ghana.
But with the official launch of Vodafone international digital skills programme which is to provide career guidance and access to training content in the digital economy for up to 10 million young people across 18 countries together with announced plans for a significant increase in the number of young people brought into the company to gain direct experience of the digital workplace, Vodafone aims to expand its existing graduate, apprenticeship, internship and work experience schemes worldwide to reach a total of up to 100,000 young people worldwide by 2022.
The two initiatives were announced as Vodafone published the results of a major international public opinion survey revealing the extent to which young adults, aged 18-24, believe they are ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy, despite being the first generation to be “born digital”.
The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that more than 200 million young people are either unemployed or have a job but live in poverty. In many of the countries in which Vodafone operates, including Ghana, youth unemployment is at record levels.
Previous studies have found that a prolonged period of unemployment shortly after a young person leaves school to enter the workforce, can have a lifelong negative effect on individual confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing.