The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has lauded government's job creation initiatives outlined in the 2017 budget. The one-district-one-factory and one-village-one-dam initiatives will help create decent jobs in all parts of Ghana," the TUC observed.
However, the Union identified the absence of a decentralized job creation tracking mechanism and expressed worry that the anomaly would make it difficult to evaluate the number of actual jobs created.
Such mechanism will serve as a guide for assessing performance, sector by sector, region by region and district by district, it said.
According to the TUC, a casual analysis of the 2017 budget reveals that government has set clear targets to measure growth within a year; so that it can assess whether the growth target has been achieved or not by the end of the year.
"Regrettably, there is no such target for job creation. Government should be bold enough to set employment targets region by region, and district by district. We will not accept the usual answer that there is no data on employment. We need statistical evidence for job creation across the ten regions," it explained.
Furthermore, government must ensure that its tax, investment, procurement and trade policies focus on creating jobs for Ghanaians, especially the youth.
"Since women and the youth have suffered discrimination in terms of decent jobs, it will be important to assess our performance in terms of the proportion of new jobs that benefit women and young people directly.
"This may appear burdensome but that is the only way we can ensure that new jobs are equitably distributed across regions, districts and across men and women," the TUC said when commenting on the 2017 Budget and Economic Policy read by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta recently.
Consequently, the TUC expects government to make resources available to the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) and other agencies to begin collecting data that will allow for an objective assessment of the efforts towards employment creation in each of the ten regions and all districts for men, women and the youth.
It will also enable government to review its employment policies regularly or even annually, the Union believes.
The TUC acknowledged other special programmes like small business development, planting for food and jobs, national entrepreneurship and innovation programme, one-million-dollar-one-constituency, among other initiatives aimed at creating jobs for Ghanaians.
As well, it said "The initiative to undertake employment audit of government-funded projects is very much appreciated. Successful implementation of these initiatives will go a long way to alleviate the employment challenge which, in our view, is the greatest challenge facing Ghana today," the Union stressed.
Adding its voice, the Integrated Social Development Centre (ISODEC) has described the call by the TUC for government to set targets for job creation as a step in the right direction.
"We have a problem with the labour statistics in Ghana. This is largely because there hasn't been some quality with labour issues but in recent times; there have been some efforts to improve and provide labour data for measuring performances in terms of job creation. So if the TUC is calling on the government to issue a baseline, we are all in support of it," ISODEC's Media and Campaigns Coordinator, Dr. Steve Manteaw, told Business Day.
He emphasized the importance of the baseline because it will help to measure the performance of not only the current government but also all successive governments when it is set up and backed by a Legislative Instrument (L.I.).
"We also need to be mindful of the sustainability of jobs that are created," Dr. Manteaw stressed.
According to him, it is not enough to say you have created this number of jobs, but what is important is how sustainable the jobs you have created are.
"Some jobs are seasonal. Today you are employed and the next day, you are out of job for the rest of the year. These jobs must be sustainable," the social justice chief NGO said.