He said it would help to reduce the number of youths who migrated illegally to other countries to engage in menial jobs but go through molestation and sometimes are sexually harassed in the case of females.
He expressed worry that some of those young people who travelled out of the country struggled to find jobs and become stranded, saying it was time to build the confidence of the youth and encourage many of them to learn trades to become skilful employees to serve as their source of livelihoods.
Mr Kumi gave the advice when he was speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) after the close of a float and awareness campaign through the principal streets of Sunyani organised by the Labour Department and German Development Cooperation (GIZ) aimed at curbing growing risks of irregular migration among the youth, particularly in the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regions.
Under the theme, ”Our Youth, Our Jobs, Our Future”, the campaign formed part of a capacity-building project on migration and employment commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development being implemented by the GIZ.
It also sought to sensitize the public on the work and functions of the Labour Department regarding employment and the support offered to jobseekers.
Hundreds of young men and women including beneficiaries of the GIZ Migration Project, and members of youth groups in the region participated in the float.
Many of them carried placards some of which read “Labour Department Promotes Decent Jobs,” “Connection Men Can Dupe You, Visit the Labour Department” and “Using Services of Connection or Middlemen has Risks.”
Mr Kumi said the rapid migration of the country’s youth retarded national socio-economic development and therefore made it imperative to ensure the expansion of the informal sector which had been the bigger sector to provide a lot of opportunities for many of the youth to be gainfully employed.
Mr Isaac Maalma-Kaminta, the Bono Regional Labour Officer said per available data, one person out of three was unemployed, so people assumed there were no employment opportunities and therefore illegally migrated abroad in search of greener pastures.
But he added that was a wrong assumption because the jobless had not been visiting the Department for its services to secure job opportunities.
Mr Malma-Kaminta accordingly entreated the youth, notably the unemployed to understand the availability and readiness of the Department to assist them to obtain “suitable jobs” and employers to find suitable applicants to fill vacancies in their companies.
He announced the GIZ Migration Project had other opportunities available to support people to start their own businesses.
Mr Joshua Ahiaba the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Regional Advisor for the Migration and Employment Promotion Project of GIZ said the Labour Department played a vital role in employment.
Hence the GIZ was empowering the Department to function effectively through capacity building, infrastructure, and coordination support, as well as awareness creation and networking, he added.
Ms Vida Yeboah, a resident of Sunyani and a beneficiary of the Department and GIZ Migration Project in an interview with the GNA said through that initiative “I have been able to establish a small-scale pastries business which is progressing steadily.”
That she said, “is better than travelling to seek greener pastures with its associated dangers abroad without assurance of success,” and therefore advised the unemployed young people to take advantage of the GIZ Migration Project to make their lives better.