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Strengthened for the next step

Eine Frau steht vor dem Eingang zu einem Konferenzraum und lächelt in die Kamera.
The fair encouraged Ivana Obeng to pursue her idea of becoming self-employed.

Strengthened for the next step

It’s a hot day in July. A group of young women and men is standing in front of a hotel in the centre of the Ghanaian capital Accra waiting to be let in. They’ve spruced themselves up, and are chatting excitedly as they join the queue. They have already overcome the first hurdle regarding breaking into the Ghanaian job market: many of them have recently completed a training course or study programme. They’re hoping to be able to take the next step at the Ghana Job Fair.

University graduate Ivana Obeng is 28 years old. She’s happy to have been awarded one of the coveted places for the fair. “Everyone who graduates from university wants to get a well-paid job. Unfortunately, the hard reality in Ghana is that a university education doesn’t guarantee you a job.” That’s why Obeng is thinking about becoming self-employed, and has even come up with a specific idea for starting a business. She’s hoping that this fair will give her more of an idea about how to proceed.

Around 6,600 participants and 68 companies

The job fair is a place to meet other people, and ideally to find a job. It’s a space for job seekers and employers to get to know one another. The Ghanaian-German Centre for Jobs, Migration and Reintegration (GGC) and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR) have already cooperated in organising several such events. This year the fair, whose partners also include the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Ghana (AHK Ghana), is mainly taking place as a hybrid event due to the pandemic. Part of the programme is offered in the form of online workshops. Over 6,600 participants can meet with representatives from 68 companies.

 

This means that the fair is an opportunity for a first, informal meeting. Experienced speakers also run workshops and share their knowledge about the application process and about the first few months in a new job. This includes how to write a CV and prepare for job interviews, for example. As well as general career guidance, the programme also includes things like an introduction to financial management for everyday business and a training session on marketing plans. Those with previous experience can join special courses to enhance their digital and entrepreneurial skills.

Ein junger Mann blickt in die Kamera.
Benjamin Adorsu’s work contract has just come to an end – he’s using the fair to look for a new job.

New ideas and taking a critical look at CVs

The fair also enables many participants to come up with completely new ideas. “My contract as a forklift driver at a construction company has come to an end”, says Benjamin Adorsu, for example. “I learned about this fair via social media and decided to look for a new job here. I’ve just been to a workshop on starting a business, though, and now my plans have changed: I’d rather start up something of my own.” Adorsu wants to use the rest of the fair to make contact with people involved in the production sector in Ghana. He’s mostly interested in making shoes.

University graduate Rhody Asomani, who is currently completing an internship as a web developer with an IT company in Accra, feels that the job fair has lived up to her expectations. “I really wanted to have my CV reviewed, because I’m already applying for positions and so far I haven’t had much feedback from potential employers. The experts here made me aware of certain weaknesses in my CV. That's helped me a lot. I’ve learned what personnel managers are looking for.” Asomani’s dream is to work in a multinational IT company and to start her own business one day.

Eine junge Frau lächelt in die Kamera.
Rhody Asomani would like to work in a multinational IT company.

Specific job offers for some 350 young women and men

The Ghanaian Deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations Bright Wireko-Brobby used his opening speech at the fair to praise the GGC team for its excellent organisation. GGC manager Benjamin Woesten finished the event off on a positive note. He said that around 350 participants had even received a concrete job offer. They will soon be starting their careers in bookkeeping, the service sector, the IT sector or in sales.

Ivana Obeng found above all that the fair has given her motivation. The conversations she held at the event have encouraged her to pursue her idea of becoming self-employed and entering the local cosmetics industry: “I’d like to process shea butter for both the Ghanaian and the international market. I’ve come away from today’s event with lots of valuable knowledge shared by people with a lot of experience.”

Date: 08/2021

This fair helped me a lot. I’ve learned what personnel managers are looking for.
Rhody Asomani

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