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Skills Training in the Informal Sector: Perspectives from Ghana

Yvonne Ayerki Lamptey, Yaw A. Debrah


Youth unemployment is a major concern in sub-Saharan Africa. Unemployment usually results from the lack of appropriate skills to enter the labour market. In Ghana, many enter the informal sector to train for a vocation, but the problem with acquiring skills in the informal sector is that the training is usually informal and unstructured. This article explores the modes of training in the informal sector to find out how the skills provided aid the employability of these workers. It provides empirical evidence to anchor policies on education and institutional policy prescriptions towards effectively equipping the youth with both employable and entrepreneurial skills that promote economic growth in the country. This research adopts a qualitative approach to explore training in the informal sector, and follows the grounded theory process to collect and analyse data. In all, 26 respondents were sampled using the purposive and convenience methods. The findings indicate that training designed for informal workers is not linked to the development agenda of the state, and the institutions are challenged in the execution of their mandates. Some beneficiaries are unable to implement their learning for lack of start-up capital, and they divert to other entrepreneurial activities as a survival strategy. The government needs to plan for the development of entrepreneurial skills in the informal sector, to extend the coverage of this development and to support the industrialisation agenda.


skills training; informal sector; informal employment; sub-Saharan Africa

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