An Apprentice is the one learning a trade or skill from a qualified person (Master Craftperson (MCP)) for a recognized period of time which has been fixed in advance. Apprentices are usually new in the field and need guidance and directives from the MCP.
The apprenticeship programme in Ghana, involves a contract between a MCP and an Apprentice, with either a parent or guardian involved in the signing of the agreement.
Characteristics of the traditional apprenticeship system
- Average duration: 3 years, varies (by sector and individual)
- Usually verbal or written agreement between MCP and Apprentice/parents
- Fees: Vary strongly between 50 – 700 GHC. Average about 200 GHC
- Usually no formal entry requirements (schooling)
- Assessment & certification by Master/Madam, but in many sectors also by trade associations. Trade test at NVTI are possible
Strengths and Challenges of the traditional Apprenticeship system
The notion that apprenticeship training are for students who had low grades, or the unintelligent, has to be discarded. This is because for an apprentice to complete his or her apprenticeship training successfully, it takes intelligence, dedication, focus and hard work.
Training of Apprentices should be designed to meet industry standards, changing needs of productivity and work safety. Therefore the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET) in collaboration with Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI) have developed an efficient, effective and dynamic apprenticeship training programme. Apprenticeship training will not be limited only to on- the- job training at the workplace but will include classroom instruction or training i.e. at a Vocational and Technical Training Institute, which is an excellent way of preparing the Apprentice for the future.
This will enable the Apprentice to gain appropriate skills needed to perpetuate the respective trade sector and curtail the reoccurrence of apprentices’ engagement in trading in the markets or streets of Ghana.