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28.10.2004 Business & Finance

Human Resource Practitioners kick against cheap labour concept

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Accra, Oct. 28, GNA - Human Resource Practitioners on Thursday expressed concern about the impression governments often gave foreign investors that Ghana had cheap labour, saying it defeated the country's effort to reach middle income level by the year 2010.

They, therefore, called on policy makers to be circumspect in their effort at using the "cheap labour trick" to attract investors and seek the interest of Ghanaian workers, who ended up working for expatriates for slave wages.

The call came at the 2004 Human Resource Summit jointly organized by the Institute of Human Resource Management Practitioners (IHRMP) and the Ghana Employers' Association (GEA) for human resource practitioners to play their role effectively.

Participants at the summit said the "cheap labour" card that governments often played in their effort to attract investors made foreign investors brand Ghanaian human resource managers, who sought better conditions for workers, as bad nuts.

Mr Kwadwo Asare-Bediako, President of the IHRMP, said chief executives of organizations in the country paid little attention to the training of human resource practitioners (HRPs) for the erroneous reason that HRPs were mere welfare officers, who took care of staff's social needs such as funerals, weddings and other things.

He said HRPs, usually referred to as Personnel Managers were not mere welfare officers but trained to strategically recruit, train, utilise and motivate staff for the effectiveness of organizations and the ultimate achievement of organizational vision and goals.

Mr Asare-Bediako contended that it took the performance of the staff of an organization more than its technical equipment to develop saying the performance of the staff depended on a well-trained HRP.

"Our chief executives must have a commitment to training HRPs if we want to see the full value of the potential of our staff."

Mr Frank Ocran, Executive Chairman of the State Enterprises Commission (SEC), who presided, said people, rather than equipment, were the prime movers of organization development.

He urged organizations to invest in the training of their staff more than buying equipment, saying that new knowledge was emerging on a daily basis and the staff of organizations needed to update their knowledge about the industry they were in for the organisation to survive the challenges of change.

Mr. Kojo Haizel, Human Resource and Training Manager at Golden Tulip Hotel, said people should be considered as partners and not factors of development.

"It takes people to organize and not equipment," he said. Mr Ato Ampiah, Immediate past President of the GEA, said the key to the eradication of poverty in society was to improve on productivity, and that enterprise productivity was only possible when human resource was well developed.

"We need to build compatible teams for compatible tasks in compatible organisations to realise the needed level of productivity that would lift us up the poverty line."

Mr Ampiah also stressed on the need for institutional credibility, saying that clients would return to do business with an organization based on its credibility, while the credibility of the organisation depended on the staff.

The IHRMP has lined up a number of activities including workshops and interactions with chief executives of organizations to uplift the image of the profession. 28 Oct. 04

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