Short term Apprenticeship Training and Labor Market Outcomes: Experimental Evidence from Ghana
Youth unemployment is a major problem facing most low- and middle-income countries including Ghana. In Ghana, youth unemployment is beginning to take an upward trajectory from 8.9 to 9.4 percent from 2019 to 2020 due to limited skills needed to secure jobs. As such, the study seeks to identify the effect of short-term apprenticeship training programmes spanning between 2 weeks to 6 months on labor market outcomes. The government-sponsored apprenticeship programs, including garment making, carpentry, welding, masonry, and cosmetology, are not too attractive to most Ghanaian youth since these jobs are less accepted and respected throughout the country. Further, there is a high attrition rate due to lengthy training periods. In addressing these gaps, private institutions like the Youth Opportunity and Transformation Africa (YOTA) have taken the initiative to provide training and employable skills to Ghanaian youth of various backgrounds and education levels across the country. YOTA has so far provided short-term skill training in the areas of information and communications technology (ICT), soft skills, and entrepreneurship among others. We seek to conduct a randomized field experiment to examine how shorter-term training in the area of ICT (graphic designing and computer networking) and soft skills will influence labor market participation, earnings, and emotional wellbeing of Ghanaian youth. The study will be conducted in four urban, informal settlements in three different regions in Ghana: Ashaiman (Greater Accra Region), Kasoa (Central Region), Aboabo, and Asawase (Ashanti Region). To evaluate the project outcome through randomization, we shall examine how the trainees have been rewarded post-training against their circumstances before the training.