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Government to streamline collection of employment data

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) is working with stakeholders to streamline standards and centralise employment statistics generated within the productive sectors for effective reporting and targeting.

This, the Ministry said, would ensure easy disaggregation and analysis of employment data by the Ministries, Departments and Agencies and the Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies for use by policymakers towards national development planning.

Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Sector Minister, said this in a speech read on his behalf by Mr Kizito Ballans, the Chief Director, during an Inter-sectoral Stakeholder Meeting on Employment Impact Assessment, Employment Targeting and Reporting and Related Matters in Accra on Tuesday.

The outcome of the meeting is expected to be adopted for Employment Impact Assessment in the Public Sector.

It was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Finance, the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

It aims at enabling government to report creditably on employment numbers as well as set realistic targets for the productive sectors with corresponding allocation of resources to achieve those targets.

Mr Awuah said data on employment creation was not readily available to guide evidence-based policymaking, and as a result, statistics churned out by various institutions on employment were always at variance to one another.

He said employment reporting was fragmented, uncoordinated and remained at the productive sector level without any form of verification or validation from a statutory body.

“Employment is a macroeconomic issue and cross-cutting one, which requires the involvement of stakeholders. As a macroeconomic issue, one will expect that every year, there will be national and sectoral targets on employment just as it is done for Gross Domestic Product growth, inflation, fiscal deficit, and exchange rate,” he said.

Mr Awuah said it was through targets setting that the country could monitor progress made on employment creation at the various levels.

He said the importance of Jobs Impact Assessment was evident in the country’s policy planning processes and discrepancies associated with employment data.

“The call for Jobs Impact Assessment has been on the rise as government is interested in determining which sectors of the economy create more jobs over other sectors for similar expenditure under similar circumstances,” he said.

However, the role of the Ministry in employment assessment is to coordinate these employment interventions, evaluate the number of jobs created and ensure they conform to decent work standards and report periodically to the public.

Mr Awuah said the meeting would facilitate the development of a framework for employment targeting and reporting for use by public sectors to aid forecasting, evidence-informed policymaking and development planning.

He expressed the hope that the discussions would deepen the growing consensus on instituting employment impact assessment in all sectors towards the creation of decent opportunities for the labour force.

Dr Akua Ofori-Asumadu, the National Project Manager of ILO, Accra, said the Organisation had initiated a project dubbed: “Strengthen Project” implemented in 10 countries including Ghana, with support from the European Union.

It is two components; Employment Impact Assessment of Public Policies in selected sectors, and Assessing and Addressing the Effects of Trade on Employment.

It aims at strengthening the capabilities of country partners to analyse and design sectoral and trade policies and programmes to enhance job creation in terms of quality and quantity.

Touching on the achievements, Dr Ofori-Asumadu said the project, among other things, had enabled policymakers to be trained on analytical tools to assess the employment impact of pre-selected sectoral policies that effectively responded to employment challenges and promoted decent work to meet international labour standards.

Mr Maikel Lieuw-Kie-Song, the Strengthen Project Manager, Employment Policy Department, ILO Geneva, focusing on Good Practices and Approaches for Monitoring and Assessing Employment Impacts, said all public-sector projects must undergo a job impact assessment.

This, he said, would enable government to analyse how the various jobs were being created so as to better structure incentives and stimuli for higher-skilled jobs and opportunities for Ghanaians.

He urged member countries to adhere to good practices for assessing employment impacts by identifying activities and link them to policies and strategic documents, budgets and implementation plans.

Some participants suggested that job assessment impacts should be considered in the national planning process especially for productive sectors.

Others supported the creation of indicators to be harmonized for use by the NDPC and the need to take into account the unemployed youth who had sat home for more than five years in their unemployment assessment.

Source: GNA


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