In the face of economic turmoil and limited job prospects, the concerning phenomenon of “brain drain” is becoming increasingly prevalent in Ghana.
Highly educated and skilled individuals are seeking employment opportunities in more affluent parts of Europe, prompting extensive media coverage and social media depictions of airport scenes as young professionals leave in pursuit of better prospects.
A recent report from the National Teaching Council (NTC) underscores the gravity of the situation. In 2023 alone, 10,000 teachers have relocated to the UK, 10,000 Teachers relocate to the UK in 2023 and more are on their way to NTC, with many more preparing to follow suit. This only accounts for registered cases, with additional individuals securing opportunities through the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery or international scholarships. The nursing profession is grappling with a similar exodus, leaving gaps in the healthcare system. Moreover, teacher shortages have compelled some schools to combine classes, adversely impacting the quality of education.
This predicament extends beyond Ghana, affecting unemployed graduates globally.
The question arises: if foreign governments are willing to employ our graduates, should Ghana not institute policies and measures to officially export this valuable human resource?
We already export commodities such as gold, oil, cocoa, and timber to bolster our economy. Why not leverage our workforce’s potential to create a new source of income?
The International Labor Organization highlights the significant exodus of Filipinos seeking employment abroad and contributing to their country’s remittances.
To address this issue, Ghana should consider the establishment of a comprehensive Government Work Abroad Program, providing a direct channel for Ghanaian job seekers, including teachers, nurses, doctors, and other graduates, to work abroad with government support.
Instead of training individuals who may face unemployment, the government should focus on producing professionals in high demand abroad.
For instance, if the UK expresses interest in Ghanaian teachers, Ghana should proactively train more teachers and send them to meet the demand.
A strategic overview of this program should encompass the following key principles:
Direct Application Portal: A direct link for Ghanaian job seekers, including teachers, nurses, doctors, etc., to apply and work abroad, sponsored by the government, thereby averting unemployment issues.
Strategic Training: Tailor the training of professionals to meet the specific needs of countries interested in their skills. For example, if the US requires Ghanaian nurses and doctors, Ghana should train more and send them to address the demand.
Ghana’s Government Work Abroad Program would have the following components:
The Work-Abroad Programme: This initiative, led by the Youth Employment Agency (YEA), seeks to facilitate job seekers in Ghana connecting with international opportunities and training abroad. It aims to promote safe and legal pathways for labor migration, provide support and information to prospective migrants, combat youth poverty and social exclusion, and promote collaboration between governments and stakeholders to cater to the needs of Ghana’s working youth abroad.
Despite its potential, not much has been heard about this program, as many individuals continue to struggle to find jobs and chart their paths, putting them at risk while potentially depriving the government of valuable human resources.
More Graduate teachers are Home
Many More Graduate health professionals are Home
The government can do more
Source; Djangmah Peter Nubuor