Start your own business; Gov’t payroll is full – Ken Ofori Atta to graduates

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The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, has informed the University of Professional Studies-Accra (UPSA) 2021 graduating class that the government’s payroll is full, making it unsustainable to continue adding to the public sector’s employment figures, necessitating the need to create their own jobs.

According to him, the duty of government is to build the necessary enabling environment, promote micro-stability, and guarantee that citizens have the necessary skillset – and that is exactly what the government intends to do: focus on the youth and budget for their needs.

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“At this point, the most important issue for you in terms of jobs is the future, and we’ve gone through a period where most people hunt for work in government or state institutions; nevertheless, those payrolls are full.” I can tell you that because we spend around 60% of our revenue on remunerating 650,000 employees, which is unsustainable,” he remarked.

The finance minister went on to say that entrepreneurship, skillsets, and credit are all crucial components in ensuring young sustainability and providing them with the opportunity to forge their own route to prosperity.

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Education, according to the minister, is a ladder to social mobility as well as economic and social prosperity, providing beneficiaries with the opportunity to help society – adding that graduates should recognize the privilege of receiving four years of tertiary education and do their best to impact society through the transformation and renewal of their minds.

Dr. K.K. Sarpong, Chief Executive of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), stressed the importance of graduates acquiring 21st-century skills and core competencies that will improve their employability and career advancement in his remarks at the graduation ceremony.

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He emphasized that today’s industries are looking for graduates with more than a bachelor’s degree because they consider life-skills like creativity, innovation, critical thinking, collaboration, teamwork, communication, empathy, and digital literacy, among others, to be critical for effective individual performance.

“These life-skills underpin adaptive and constructive behavior, which aids in dealing effectively with the obstacles of everyday life, notably work.” As a result, it is critical that graduates learn the aforementioned life skills,” he stated.

Dr. K.K. Sarpong also highlighted digital literacy, stating that this is a digital era in which automation, artificial intelligence, and the use of software have dominated the delivery of accounting and financial services, necessitating the need for them to acquire these skills in order to remain competitive in the job market.

He further added that under COVID-19, outsourcing of operations like as procurement, payroll, taxation, pensions and benefits, recruitment, and training has become the new normal, necessitating a quick response.

“I encourage you to start your own businesses in order to take advantage of the rising market for outsourced financial and commercial services. “Be entrepreneurial,” he said, “since your training here has given you the tools to do so.”

Prof. Abednego F.O. Amartey, UPSA’s Vice-Chancellor, stated that UPSA will graduate a total of 3,640 students in the 2020/2021 cohort, including 793 postgraduates, 2,054 undergraduates, and 793 diploma students.

He urged them to be good ambassadors for the institution, demonstrating the principles and ideas that had been instilled in them.

“My last words to you, as a marketer, are to remember these four Ps – be positive, principled, proactive, and productive,” he stated.

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