The National Project Coordinator for Skill-Up Ghana Mr. Frank Kwasi Adetor has reinforced reports that industry is complaining about the kind of students being churned out by the country’s tertiary institutions onto the job market.
Mr. Adetor said industries have to fish out extra funds to retrain such products to fit the industry requirements for smooth working environment.
“But the good news is that the problem will soon be addressed, particularly for students from technical and vocational institutions, we’re working on a National Apprenticeship Policy” he said.
The policy aims, among others to ensure that an apprenticeship is a compulsory requirement for all students, especially those within the Technical and Vocational Training (TVET) schools.
He made these remarks on the sidelines of a workshop on ‘Skills-Up Ghana’ organized by the International Labour Organization in collaboration with the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET), under the Ministry of Education here in Accra.
The workshop sought to discuss measures to ensure the skills needs of industries are adequately diagnosed for the appropriate prescription.
Over 25 participants from key institutions from the public and private sectors participated in the workshop.
Mr. Adetor believes that existing gaps require skills and the National Apprenticeship Policy provided by TVET would help bridge the skills gap.
“It forms part of the measures to ensure the skills needs of industries are adequately diagnosed for the appropriate prescription. The workshop focused on Agriculture, Tourism, Hospitality and the Construction sectors in Ghana” he added.
Coordinator for Occupational Standards & Curriculum Development for The Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET) Mr. Theophilus Zogblah explained that the aim of the intended policy is to bridge the gap between education/training and the job market since industry has had cause to complain about the lack of skill-sets required for the job market. “We believe the timing for the policy could not have come at a better time, since technical and vocational training is crucial to the growth of enterprises and the economy as a whole” he added.
Agricultural Consultant Mr. Kenneth Nii Addy said one of the major reasons ascribed to the low skills level has been that choosing technical/vocational training upon the completion of basic education is the result of mostly mediocre academic performance at basic education.
“The high rate of graduate unemployment in the country is not necessarily due to lack of jobs but rather the lack of people with the relevant skills needed for the available jobs,” he pointed out.
Farmer Anthony S.K Morrison Chief Executive Officer of Ghana Chamber of Agribusiness said the challenges facing the agriculture sector in Africa are low technical and entrepreneurial skills, limited opportunities, and inadequate awareness of the sector by youth.
“Young people need skills to build secured livelihoods for themselves. Enterprises will become more competitive as more skilled staff become available. This in turn creates a favorable framework for sustainable economic growth,” he emphasized.