One hundred and four (104) apprentices of Trade Associations in the Greater Accra Region, trained under the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI), yesterday, received certificates in Competency-Based Training (CBT) National Proficiency level 1 at a ceremony in Accra.


The event, hosted by the Accra Technical Training Centre, 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.


About two hundred and fifty (250) apprentices are graduating this month in the three project areas of the Northern, Volta and the Greater Accra regions.


Delivering the key note address, the Minister for Education, Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, described the graduation as a major milestone in the life of the Ministry of Education and Ghana’s skills development agenda.


Prof. Opoku-Agyemang urged the graduates to use their knowledge and skills for the benefit of others, especially the vulnerable.


She 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.


There was, therefore, the need, she said, to create an efficient co-ordinating unit within the state apparatus for skills development as part of measures to address the challenge.


Prof. Opoku-Agyeman commended the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) and the German Government for the successful implementation of the GSDI.


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.


Dr Pyschny disclosed that the Governments of Ghana and Germany had agreed in June, last year, to continue co-operation in the TVET sector as a focal area of German-Ghanaian Development Co-operation.


This, she said, meant that the GSDI programme would be upscaled to other regions of the country as well as other trades and vocations, 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.


The Chairperson for the occasion, Mrs Grace Amey-Obeng, in her remarks, urged the graduates to put the skills and values acquired as well as the health and safety aspects of their training into practice.


Mrs Amey-Obeng called for more interventions to enrich and improve the GSDI programme.


GSDI  aims to build the capacity of the informal sector—which generates 90 per cent of employment in Ghana— and to improve the quality of training of the traditional apprenticeship system which is said to be suffering from  structural deficiencies such as lack of standardization of training.


The initiative started in 2012 and is being implemented on behalf of the German Government via the Deutche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit and the German Development Co-operation (GIZ GmbH), in collaboration with COTVET.


Under the initiative, which supports COTVET to upgrade the skills and qualifications in the traditional apprenticeship system, 10 Trade Associations and 17 Training Providers (private and public) are enabled to develop and organize a regular offer of CBT courses for apprentices, master craftspersons and artisans.


Source: ISD (G.D. Zaney)


Created: 23 March 2016
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