Assessing unemployment and livelihoods : perspectives of urban youth
DisciplineKansainvälinen kehitystyö (maisteriohjelma)Master's Degree Programme in Development and International Cooperation
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Unemployment is a serious social problem common in developing countries. In Ghana, unemployment and under-employment are two of the most profound challenges that young people face. These challenges cause young people to be poor, entrenches their social exclusion and is associated with increased crime rates among them. For individuals to increase their chances of employment, they should pull together the pool of resources available to them and use such resources systematically. For this research, I assess how DFID’s concept of sustainable livelihoods could be used as a framework to identify and use such resources in unemployment contexts. For this research, I use the beneficiaries of two public run youth employment programs in Ghana (NABCO and YEP) as study subjects. The research assesses whether the livelihood situation and the livelihood capital of people have had any influence on their employability. Also, the study assesses whether unemployment has influenced their livelihoods. Findings indicate that human capital, which comprises of peoples’ education, skills and physical wellbeing has a major influence on the chances of employment. Likewise, unemployment has major impacts on human capital. It accounted for under-employment, forgetfulness of skillsets and increased susceptibility to adopt risky lifestyles. Under social capital, the research indicates that the family, friends, associations and the community play influential roles that determine employment outcome. Findings indicate unemployment has varying effects on people’s social network. Under economic capital, people’s access to personal funds, credit and other economic resources proved vital for investments in education. Findings further showed that unemployment affected access to credit. The reason being that unemployed persons have no income, and this ultimately inhibits their eligibility to access credit. One recommended policy is that the state should increase expenditure on education and review educational policy. Another policy recommendation is for the introduction of a ‘youth employment and counselling office’ at a national level. This office would be responsible for offering counselling services that include career guidance and entrepreneurship mentoring for youth. ...
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