Education Minister, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh, on Thursday inaugurated the establishment of agriculture, construction and tourism, arts and culture Sector Skills Bodies (SSBs) adding that government is undertaking a rehabilitation of almost half of all technical and vocational training institutions in the country.
The rehabilitation would involve the Ghana Regional Appropriate Technology Industrial Service (GRATIS), the Opportunities Industrialization Centres (OIC) to provide technological support for industries in the country.
“We mean business when we talk about revitalizing our Technical and Vocational Education and Training,” Dr Prempeh said, in Accra during the inauguration.
He decried the mismatch between technical and vocational education and training and industry needs and called on vocational and technical training institutions to brace up to train for jobs for the present and the future.
Dr Prempeh said there is a link between vocational and technical training and rapid national development saying the notion that such education were meant for school dropouts to be done away with.
“Our development agenda are driven by experts in TVET,” he said, and emphasized on the need for improvement in technical and vocational training to attract the necessary investment into the country.
The Sector Skills Bodies are advisory councils that seek to support the TVET strategy of the Government of Ghana to build a skills system that produces demand-driven, robust labour market ad skills intelligence.
The bodies aim to achieve the set goals by developing an understanding of the future skills needs in their industry and contributing to the development of national occupational standards ad apprenticeship frameworks in order to reduce skills gaps and shortages and to boost the skills of their sector work-forces.
The SSBs are expected to feed into the implementation of regional and national TVET strategies by giving recommendations to the Council for Vocational and Technical Education, a national body set up to co-ordinate and oversee all aspects of technical and vocational education and training in the country.
This is to ensure that qualifications, curriculum and learning materials reflect occupational standards and that learning materials are also widely accessible.
In workshops prior to the inauguration, stakeholders, including the COTVET, the International Labour Organisation, the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI III), Development Partners and private sector organisations agreed to partner the SSB concept in the three sectors of agriculture, construction and tourism, arts and culture.
Each SSB consist of approximately 19 members, predominantly made up of employers and industry associations and associated Ministries and key partners as industry association representatives, key TVET institutions, the Ghana Employers Association and the Ghana Traded Union Congress (TUC).
Dr Edward Ackah-Nyameke, Member of the SSB (Tourism and Hospitality), gave assurance that the SSB is ready to rise to the occasion.
The Ghana Skills Development Initiative III is a project commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development under the Programme for Sustainable Economic Development and co-funded by the European Union under the Ghana Employment and Social Programme and the Swiss Secretariat for Economic Affairs under its Ghana Private Sector Competitiveness Programme.
It is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in cooperation with COTVET and other public and private stakeholders.
Its current phase (GSDI III) started in April 2016 and is planned to runs until September 2019.