With a festive inauguration ceremony, the first Sector Skills Bodies in Ghana for the pilot sectors Agriculture, Construction and Tourism & Hospitality have been kicked-off in Accra. Organising partners of the event were the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI III) together with the Council for Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Apart from around 100 delegates representing key public and private sector partners, further guests of honour were the guests of honor were the Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempreh, the Deputy Minister of Roads and Highways, Hon. Anthony Karbo, and the donor representatives from the German Embassy, the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana, the Embassy of Switzerland to Ghana as well as the United Nations (UN) and the Embassy of Norway to Ghana.
The Sector Skills Bodies (SSBs) are advisory councils that seek to support the Ghanaian government’s TVET strategy to build a skills system that produces a demand-driven, robust labour market and skills intelligence. The bodies aim to achieve these goals by developing an understanding of the future skills needs in their industry in order to reduce skills gaps and shortages, and to boost the skills of their sector workforces. Additionally, the SSBs are expected to feed into the implementation of national and regional TVET strategies by giving recommendations to COTVET to ensure that qualifications, curriculum and learning materials reflect the occupational standards and that learning materials are also widely accessible. In workshops previous to the ceremony, all above mentioned partners agreed that each Sector Skills Body should consist of approximately 19 members, predominately from employers and industry associations, but furthermore from associated ministries and key partners such as industry association representatives, key TVET institutions, the Ghana Employers Association and the Trades Union Congress Ghana.
Subsequently to the official inauguration, representatives from the three pilot SSBs undertook a four-day study tour to Delhi, India. The tour included engagements with the Indian National Skills Development Council and the Sector Skills Councils for the Agriculture, Construction and Hospitality and Tourism sectors. A range of TVET providers was visited, and opportunities were taken to exchange with employer associations in order to better understand the lessons that can be learnt from the Indian apprenticeship model and the strong engagement of the private sector with the Sector Skills Councils and the highly professionalized, demand-driven TVET system in India.