The Informal Apprenticeship System in Ghana: Post Graduation Job Integration and Its Implications for the Management of Urban Space

Prince Aboagye Anokye, Samuel Kofi Afrane, Eric Oduro-Ofori


In spite of the enormous contributions the informal apprenticeship system has made to empowering many creative intelligent young Ghanaians, it has over the years come under a barrage of criticism and forceful evictions in many urban areas in Ghana. The justification by  urban administrators and planners for forcefully removing these graduate apprentices who set up their businesses  have been on grounds of encroachment of public spaces and illegal occupation of precarious locations. Informal graduate apprentices have defended their locational choice on ground of unfairness on the part of the state and the market to cater for their space needs. In the awake of a growing informal apprenticeship system in Ghana, this paper sought to establish the inherent relationship that exist between the growth in apprentices, their locational preferences, and their implications for urban planning and management. Using a case study approach the study built upon earlier exploratory research works done in the area. Information was gathered from 162 graduate apprentices-now entrepreneurs in four broad trades namely wood worker; auto mechanics; textile and apparel; and beauticians and hairdressers in Accra using questionnaires. The responses were validated through a focus group discussion. The findings revealed the number of graduate apprentices who set up their businesses is on the rise.  Although they preferred highly accessible areas that guaranteed high patronage of their services the absence of such spaces due to inefficiencies in the urban land market or a lack of a clear regulation that addresses their specific needs have caused them to settle in areas that are available to them.  It was also evident that the more concentrated the location of their activities are the higher the number of trips it generates across the urban space. Having gained insight into the phenomenon, proposals have been made as to how best the unmet space needs of the graduate apprentices can be met so as to mitigate the negative effects that results from unplanned, uncoordinated and unmet space needs.

Keywords Informal, graduate apprentices, space needs, urban management

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3216 ISSN (Online)2225-0948

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