One hundred and four (104) apprentices of Trade Associations in the Greater Accra Region, trained under the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI), received certificates in Competency-Based Training (CBT) National Proficiency level 1 at a ceremony in Accra on 22nd March 2016.
Overall about two hundred and fifty (250) apprentices graduated this month in the three project areas of the Northern, Volta and the Greater Accra regions. This was the first-ever graduation of apprentices from the informal sector for nationally-recognized qualifications and certificates in the pilot sectors of Automotive, Cosmetology, Garment-making, Electronics and Welding, under the National TVET Qualification Framework.
The Minister for Education Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, delivering the key note address, described the graduation as a major milestone in the life of the Ministry of Education and Ghana’s skills development agenda. She congratulated the graduates to their achievement and success and urged them to use their knowledge and skills for the benefit of others, especially the most vulnerable.
Prof. Opoku-Agyemang further said government had identified the lack of a progression path for the advancement and upgrading of skills as a major challenge of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector. Therefore there is a need to create an efficient co-ordinating unit within the state apparatus for skills development as part of measures to address the challenge.
In an address, Dr Nicole Maldonado Pyschny, Head of Development Co-operation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ghana, noted that TVET and skills development were fundamental for economic development and tools for fighting youth unemployment. She confirmed that he GSDI programme would be upscaled to other regions of the country as well as other trades, adding that the focus would now be on the next step of Proficiency Level ll.
The Executive Director of COTVET, Mr Sebastian Deh, in a statement, said GSDI should not be seen as duplication but as an essential component of the National Apprenticeship Programme (NAP) established by Government through COTVET to ensure that the formal school graduates who could not access Senior High School (SHS) education were given employable skills through modern apprenticeship.
GSDI aims to build the capacity of the informal sector, which generates about 80% of employment in Ghana, and to improve the quality of training of the traditional apprenticeship system. The Chairperson for the occasion, Mrs Grace Amey-Obeng, in her remarks, urged the graduates to put the skills and values acquired into good use as well as the health and safety aspects of their training into practice.
The Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI), under the leadership of COTVET, is a collaboration of Trade Associations, under the umbrella of the Federation of Professional Trade Associations in Ghana (FEPTAG) and selected TVET Training providers to improve the quality of the traditional apprenticeship training in the informal sector.
Group picture of Hon. Minister of Education and the graduates from Accra Technical Training Center (ATTC) and the Welders and Pipe Fitters Association of Ghana (WAPAG)