Between March and September this year alone, the country has witnessed more than three different professional groups either picketing at the education or health ministries in a bid to mount pressure on government.
However, we hear several government officials lament that the public sector is choked.
Indeed, with less than 1 million workers on government payroll, it has been difficult getting the resources to pay such workers.
With our population growing at 2.5 per cent per annum, according the 2010 population census projections, it is common knowledge to assume that the policy which mandates professionals to be employed by state institutions wholesale is no longer sustainable. Again, with the increasing numbers of such professionals coming out from our training institutions, colleges and universities, the phenomenon of young unemployed professionals demonstrating or grouping at our ministries is likely to increase. Such happenings create unpalatable spectacles.
It is time government become open to the general masses about the impossibilities of absorbing all these professionals because there is actually no space for them.
I, therefore, suggest that the policy on wholesale posting of young professionals, whether they are teachers, nurses, doctors or others, be scrapped.
Instead, the government should institute a policy that allows public institutions to declare vacancies available periodically so that prospective graduates can compete for such places by attending interviews or passing a standardised selection test as it is done in all developed countries, as well as other developing countries.
These vacancies could be published through notable government websites, online job search engines or dedicated newspapers published weekly, monthly or quarterly.
Advantages of declaring vacancies:
1. By openly allowing such young graduates to compete for these jobs, the panel gets the opportunity to select the best brains for the jobs available.
2. Those who get such jobs learn to cherish and respect the job they have been offered.
3. Through rigorous selection process, the panel gets to understand the psychology and thinking of those professionals. Because many professionals find themselves in the wrong jobs just for survival.
4. This process will also eases undue pressure on government, by removing the suspicion of the general public that vacancies exist somewhere and that if they press harder, they could be given a fair chance.
5. The job selection process will also look open because if there are 50 vacancies, almost everyone will know.
However, measures should be outlined to make the selection and recruitment process open and transparent so that, in the end, the best people get the job. Finally, government must support the private sector to expand and absorb the increasing graduates who will be looking for opportunity to work and make a living.
The writer is lecturer at the Department of Communication & Media Studies, Pentecost University College, Accra.