Why job fairs matter in job creation


Many youth around the world have to battle with unemployment and the Ghanaian youth is no exception. The World Bank’s 2013 World Development Report estimates 200 million youth are unemployed worldwide, with 600 million jobs needed over a 15-year period simply to maintain the current global employment rates.

Most youth are unable to secure employment due to the lack of required transferable, technical skills and/or work experience relevant for the labour market. Youth interested in self-employment and entrepreneurship are mostly faced with the challenge of inaccessibility to capital, business development and market linkages. The COVID19 pandemic has also impacted many businesses negatively, resulting in some employees losing their jobs due to down-sizing and the collapse of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

Why do job fairs matter?

Job fairs are interactive, knowledge-sharing platforms that connect job seekers to employers. Key outcomes of such events include:

  • access to information on labour market needs,
  • preparation and support towards informed decisions on employment pathways,
  • stimulation of strong networks for future prospects and, sometimes, on-the-spot job placements,
  • Through individual CV reviews and group sessions, fairs targeted at youth job seekers provide expert support to help youth refine their job application documents as well as vital tips on hiring procedures.


The GrEEn Approach

SNV Netherlands Development Organisation has been implementing the Boosting GrEEn Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) Project, which funded by the European Union and is aimed at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses in two selected regions in Ghana: Ashanti and Western. Considering the increasingly limited chances of employment opportunities in the formal sector, GrEEn employs an integrated approach to stimulate (self-)employment opportunities and enterprise development for youth, with a focus on opportunities in Agriculture, Renewable Energy and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). We think of sustainable jobs and businesses, focusing on improving environmental impact and climate resilience.

The private sector, as engine of economic growth, was a key partner in the job fair. Green businesses supported by the GIZ’s Migration and Employment Promotion Project participated in the maiden GrEEn job fair in Ghana's Ashanti region, providing youth with employment opportunities. 

Enablers within the entrepreneurship eco-system such as the regulatory bodies, Business Advisory Centres (BACs), Hapa Space, Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), Talents Human Capital, HiPAG Business and Professional Development Consult and LetFed Ghana supported participants with information on business registration, product certification and standardisation issues. Entrepreneurs in the green economy exhibited their green solutions to whip youths’ interest for self-employment initiatives.

Using its flagship quarterly job fair events provide a platform where skilled labour meets opportunities for employment, internships and other forms of job opportunities. The GrEEn Job Fairs are organised thrice per quarter at the district level on a rotational basis. The district events serve as a precursor to the grand job fair at the regional capitals in the last quarter.

The maiden GrEEn job fair held in Offinso, Ashanti region, organised in September 2020, was attended by over 104 participants, and showcased green businesses in SNV's three sectors with 11 internship and 49 job offers.

The train moves to Agona Nkwanta in Western Region on 3rd November, 2020.

Written By: Gifty Afi Cudjoe, Skills Development Advisor, GrEEn Project. 

This blog and its content do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.


Editor's note:

The Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn) project is a four-year action from the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Ghana, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF). The project aims at creating greater economic and employment opportunities for youth, women and returning migrants by promoting and supporting sustainable, green businesses in two selected regions in Ghana: Ashanti and Western.

GrEEn is implemented under the European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa with a total contribution of EUR 20,600,000.