Chefs Shortage And Youth Unemployment In Ghana: The “Chef From The Street” Approach

Ghana’s hospitality and tourism industry has been growing at a fast rate. This is evident with the springing up of hotels and restaurants across the country. Hospitality businesses across Ghana have been untouched by the difficulties of finding the right staff, and nowhere are these problems more visible than in kitchens up and down the country. The chef shortage is a fundamental challenge for many hospitality businesses and is the highest profile symptom of the broader people-related challenges facing the tourism sector.

Some businesses are reported to have scaled down growth plans due to the shortage. Others are struggling to operate effectively without sufficient numbers of chefs. The chef shortage also risks spiraling into an increasingly vicious circle – unfilled chef vacancies mean that existing chefs are working longer hours, which is further fuelling labour turnover. Moreover, this is not just a Ghana issue and can be found across Africa.

It is often seen as a problem of insufficient supply to meet a growing demand, but the reality is more complex and is largely a symptom of the wider HR-related challenges that many hospitality operators are grappling with. On the other hand is youth unemployment and poor vocational training.Youth are Africa’s greatest asset. Africa’s population is 1.2 billion and is projected to more than double by 2050, when it will comprise one-fourth of the world’s population. Africa will remain the world’s youngest region, with the median age of the population under 25 years old. If properly harnessed, this growing working age population could drive Africa’s economic transformation.

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