A Project in Ghana Is Delivering Career Education to the Under-served

Multiple international organizations are working in Ghana to give citizens exposure to careers they may never have learned about or considered otherwise.

Among the players: USAID, Microsoft Airband, and Bluetown. The latter is a Danish company working to provide wifi to rural areas of the world, in for example Africa and India.

Bluetown has expanded its work in Ghana to include a workforce development angle, helping people, especially women, put their digital access to work to improve their lives through digital career skills.

SkyHive has participated in two cohorts of people so far, each comprising 18-35-year-old women in the secondary cities of Koforidua and Kyebi in Ghana’s Eastern Region. The young women, some in college and others high school grads working in farming and elsewhere, are learning self-reliance and career-boosting concepts like having a “growth mindset,” how to build a resume, and how to locate jobs online, interviewing skills, and social media marketing. (There aren’t a whole lot of career services in Ghanaian schools, so not much of this is taught.)

As part of the initiative, SkyHive has been helping each individual build a skills passport. This is a compilation of each person’s skills, one that matches the women with jobs – some locally and others remote – that match their skills. Part of the goal is to demonstrate to each participant that they have transferable skills they may not have even realized are valuable to an employer (more on skills-based organizations in this webinar).

The initiative fits SkyHive’s long-term mission to “enable 8 billion people in the world with a skills passport and address unemployment and underemployment to create economic security for all,” says Bennett Grassano, who spearheaded the program.

So far, about 100 people have completed the workforce development program. Satisfaction is high. In a survey of 98 participants in the Ghana project, people were asked to rate their experience with the skills passport, how easy it was to turn their resume into a skills profile, and whether they could find matching jobs, and in each category participants rated their experience more than six out of the maximum seven on average. Ninety-six percent of the women report being better prepared to take actions to improve their chances of getting a job as a result of the SkyHive passport, and more than three-quarters were able to identify a job opportunity to pursue.

One participant we talked to, Abigail Asantewaa, went through the program in October. “It was helpful to see the skills I need to develop,” she said, referring to communications and management skills as well as courses that would help move her from her current procurement assistant to a procurement manager role.

Another October participant, Hameeda Sadick, said she “got to know things about myself I hadn’t thought about.”

Initially, she believed that she had just a handful of skills. After more thought, she was able to come up with 15 skills, including things like teamwork, collaboration, and working under pressure, skills she hadn’t initially considered. Said Sabick, “I hadn’t sat down and thought about what I could do.”

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