About 8,000 apprentices, master craft persons and workers in the informal sector are to benefit from proficiency training in their various fields of endeavour to improve upon their skills and productivity.
The initiative by the government is called the Ghana TVET Voucher Project (GTVP) and is funded by the Ghanaian-German Financial Cooperation through the KfW Bank.
With implementation by the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) through PLANCO, an international consulting firm, the initiative seeks to link the artisans to opportunities in technical and vocational education.
Additionally, it seeks to institutionally strengthen TVET stakeholders, such as training institutes, trade associations and COTVET, and establish a consistent incentive system for vocational training providers by taking into consideration the labour market relevance of such training.
Launching the initiative at the Kumasi Technical Institute at the weekend, the Minister of Education, Dr Mathew Opoku-Prempeh, said the government prioritised skills development through critical projects such as GTVP.
He said the initiative was being rolled out in four regions, after which based on a successful pilot, it would be implemented nationwide.
The regions were the Ashanti, Volta, Greater Accra and Northern and the project would focus on providing training for master craft persons, apprentices and workers from the cosmetology, consumer electronics, automotive repair, welding, tailoring and dressmaking sectors.
“This initiative by the government further epitomises its avowed commitment to making education, especially technical and vocational, attractive and accessible to all Ghanaians. We strongly believe and affirm that technical and vocational education is the driving force of our industrial and economic development. In fact, it is a hard fact that technical and vocational education has been the bedrock of development of advanced countries such as Japan, Germany, the United States of America (USA), Britain, just to mention a few,” he said.
Dr Opoku-Prempeh said in addition to GTVP, the government had outlined a set of strategies to provide a sound footing for skills development and job creation.
These included the establishment of a database for trained apprentices and artisans, the setting up of a national apprentice recruitment agency, the setting up of a portal to assist artisans to market their products and supporting the institutionalisation of business incubation and industrial apprenticeship systems to ensure that innovative ideas were transformed into businesses, while new graduates acquired the basic technical competencies employers required.
Dr Opoku-Prempeh also disclosed that the Ministry of Education had initiated processes for additional funding from the World Bank to implement, among others, the Ghana National Skills Development Fund which would provide funding to more than 1,000 businesses for the purposes of skills upgrading, technology development and job creation.
He said the proposed project which would be managed by COTVET was expected to commence by the end of 2017.