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Austin Gamey: Ghana’s workforce is overpopulated

Speaking to Asaase News, Gamey urged the government to immediately halt the recruitment of workers into that sector "If you are employing people over and above the number that can be accommodated in any business, your business will suffer paralysis. And once you suffer paralysis there's no space for anybody including those who are in to be in again."

A labour expert, Austin Gamey, has partly attributed the economic crisis in the country to what he calls the overpopulation of the workforce in the public sector.

 This, he said, has burdened the country’s expenditure.

According to Gamey, there are some jobs at the various government agencies that can be done on contract bases rather than full-time. 

As of 2020, the public sector had over 300,000 workers.

Speaking to Asaase News, Gamey urged the government to immediately halt the recruitment of workers into that sector.

He said, “If you are employing people over and above the number that can be accommodated in any business, your business will suffer paralysis. And once you suffer paralysis there’s no space for anybody including those who are in to be in again.”

“That’s why in our labour law you have space for severance for people to be laid off or declare redundant … So the reality is this; don’t over populate your workplace. It is dangerous. Ensure that we train people to be able to be skilled enough to do their own job,” he said.

Asked about his view on the industrial action by some teacher unions, Gamey said the government must be swift in resolving the concerns of the teacher unions to avoid challenges in the education sector. 

“Honestly they have a genuine concern, I empathise with them so do I empathise with the employer(government) as well. The reality is that we perhaps have delayed a little bit. I just heard that my colleagues at the Ministry of Employment and Labour relations have invited the unions for a meeting on Wednesday, it’s a good step…”

The government is expected to meet officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday (6 July) to discuss ways the Fund can support the country’s homegrown economic policies.

“I would have wished that meeting is held 24 hours from yesterday, today till tomorrow to enable them have a solution that is satisfiable to both parties and we wouldn’t have this kind of pressure that is brought to bear on the students and their parents. It’s not a healthy kind of situation we find ourselves in. Particularly, when the IMF team is already in town, we just have to be careful,” he added.

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