The role of the local enterprise and skills development programme (LESDEP) in reducing youth unemployment and promoting sustainable livelihoods in the central region of Ghana
Unemployment rates in Ghana are high, and the problem persists in developing countries, making it a significant economic problem for these economies. Unemployment generates severe economic and social issues such as poverty, social exclusion and rural-urban migration; it also poses a threat to national stability. In Ghana, unemployment is more prevalent among urban dwellers than those in rural areas, particularly among the youth. Since independence, successive governments in Ghana have implemented several skills development programmes to reduce youth unemployment. Skills development is regarded as playing a crucial role in Ghana’s youth employability by providing unemployed youth with technical and entrepreneurial skills to become self-employed to improve their livelihoods and socio-economic conditions. However, the impact of these programmes on youth unemployment in the short-run has been weak as a result of its partial and fragmented nature. This study examines the effects of skills development programmes on youth employability using the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme (LESDEP) given that skills development is crucial in building human capital, financial capital and social networks. The Ghanaian government, as a means of stemming the tide of unemployment, introduced the Local Enterprise and Skills Development Programme to provide skills that would make the youth employable. The programme is envisaged to reduce unemployment among the youth in Ghana.