A pilot survey conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) on the cost of recruitment of Ghanaians moving outside for greener pastures shows that it cost on average GH₵7,698 to be recruited abroad from Ghana.
According to the survey, highly skilled migrant workers, on average, pay higher recruitment costs of GH₵9,413 as compared to their lowly-skilled counterparts who pay GH₵7,407.
The report further reveals that among the high skilled occupation, the Professional as well as Technicians and Associate Professionals workers, on average, pay the highest recruitment cost of GH₵10,128.99 and GH₵10,004.42 respectively.
Similarly, among unskilled migrant workers, those engaged in Elementary occupations incur a higher recruitment cost of GH₵8,248.40, with the males paying more, about GH₵8,401 than their female counterparts.
Among the unskilled working category, the average recruitment cost for the clerical support workers is GH₵7,607. According to the GSS, generally, highly skilled migrant workers are likely to pay more recruitment costs than low skilled workers. Also, on average female migrant skilled workers pay more recruitment costs than their male counterparts, but the reverse is true for unskilled migrant workers.
The average recruitment costs paid by migrant workers show that those who worked in four activities, finance and insurance activities incur the highest cost of recruitment of GH₵10,538, followed by Human health and social work activities with GH₵9,881.
Migrant workers in the mining and quarrying sector incur the least recruitment costs of GH₵1,444.
With regards to earnings, the survey reveals that overall, migrant workers from Ghana earn, on average, GH₵3,798 abroad, with the male (GH₵3,848) migrant workers earning slightly higher than the female (GH₵3,665) counterpart.
Occupation in the high-skilled category, earn far more than other migrant workers. Low- skilled migrant workers earn GH₵3,484 close to two-thirds the monthly earnings of their highly skilled GH₵5,643 migrant workers.
A migrant worker in the real estate sector is on average, the highest-paid worker abroad from Ghana with a monthly salary of GH₵7,725, followed by workers in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry with GH₵ 7,662.
The results, according to the GSS, indicate that there is no clear pattern in recruitment cost and educational level of the migrant workers, concerning the plausible relationship between the level of education and the recruitment cost for migrant workers.
Nonetheless, there are some patterns concerning the educational level and average monthly earnings, with migrant workers with higher educational level earning on average relatively more.
The data suggests that migrant workers having at least a degree earn on average between GH₵4,382 and GH₵9,665, while those with lower educational level earn, on average, between GH₵1,221 and GH₵5,205 per month.
“Recruitment cost with particular reference to the country of destination shows that costs paid by migrant workers for recruitment are higher for the Oceania region (GH₵12,150), and America (GH₵11,192), Asia (GH₵9,993), and Europe (GH₵8,382). However, the recruitment cost for ECOWAS countries is the least (GH₵950)”.
However, the GSS noted that the results confirm that the levels of recruitment costs in the various countries could plausibly be associated with the skill level of migrant workers, with high skilled migrants paying relatively more than the unskilled.
“Incidentally, the pattern in the recruitment costs by country of destination mimics the average monthly earnings by migrant workers and this plausibly justifies the reasons why migrant workers are prepared to work in some countries though these countries are associated with high recruitment costs”.
Recruitment Cost Indicator (RCI) Survey
The study was mainly designed to pilot an ILO recommended survey methodology to collect data on recruitment costs and monthly earnings of migrant workers from purposely selected districts, in a bid to calculate the SDG indicator 10.7.1(Recruitment Cost Indicator).
This report, therefore, presents the survey results, as it examines the recruitment costs, monthly earnings, and RCI of migrant workers taking into account their socio-demographic characteristics such as age, occupation, the industry of work, educational attainment, skills, and sex.
The survey which started in 2019, covered a total of 1,098 people from four (4) selected districts comprising of 570 females (51.9%), and 528 males (48.1%).
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