An ambitious project that seeks to provide free vocational education to the informal sector by leveraging on the professional expertise of players in industry and academia has been outdoored in Takoradi in the Western Region of Ghana.
Dubbed “Ghana TVET Voucher Project”, the initiative aims to provide competence based training (CBT) to registered master craft persons, their workers and apprentices from the informal sector and also improve their access to accredited technical and vocational education and training at no cost.
It will also enable them to obtain National Proficiency Level I and II Certificates and strengthen Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) stakeholders, such as training institutes, trade associations and the regulatory body, the Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET).
Furthermore, the project aims to establish a consistent incentive system for vocational training providers taking into consideration the labour market relevance of such training.
Unveiling the project at a short ceremony at the Takoradi Technical University on Thursday, April 25, 2019, the Western Regional Minister, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, said the NPP-led government strongly believes that it is technical and vocational education that is going to be the driving force of the country’s industrial and economic development, hence the introduction of the Ghana TVET Voucher Project.
“This initiative by the Government of Ghana further epitomizes its avowed commitment to making education, especially, technical and vocational attractive and accessible to all Ghanaians”, he noted.
Apart from the Ghana TVET Voucher Project, he said the NPP administration has outlined a set of strategies to provide a sound footing for skills development and job creation, key amongst them are a database for trained apprentices and artisans, setting up of a national apprentice recruitment agency, setting up a portal to assist artisans in marketing their products and supporting the institutionalization of business incubation and industrial apprenticeship systems to ensure innovative ideas are transformed into business while new graduates acquire the basic technical competencies employers require.
Further to that, he said the Ministry of Education has initiated plans to secure additional funding from the World Bank to implement among others, the Ghana National Skills Development Fund which will provide funding to over 1,000 businesses for the purposes of skills upgrading, technology development and job creation.
The proposed project, which will be managed by COTVET, he added, is expected to commence by the end of 2019.
He assured of the Government’s commitment to continuously support COTVET to enhance its capacity to regulate and coordinate the delivery of TVET in Ghana with special focus to operationalize the National TVET Qualifications Framework, and the adoption of Competency Based Training and Assessment methodologies in all TVET institutions and the rebranding of TVET to make it attractive to the youth.
The National Team Leader for the Ghana TVET Voucher Project, Collins Armah, on his part said for the country to get the needed employment for its youth, it has to put TVET at the forefront whatever it does.
The project, he explained, started in 2017 where it was piloted in four regions namely; Greater Accra, Ashanti, Northern and Volta Regions.
Having successfully piloted the project, there was the need to scale it up to cover three other regions including the Central, Western and Eastern Regions.
The project, according to Mr. Armah, is to help the people in the informal sector to enable them have access to quality training in a recognized training provider.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Efia/Kwesimintsim Assembly, Kojo Acquah commenting on the project said the Assembly is poised to reduce unemployment and empower the youth in income generating activities and therefore sees the Ghana TVET Voucher Project as welcoming news.
He assured COTVET of the Assembly’s collaboration in all aspects of development and activities of the project aimed at satisfying master craftsmen and their apprentices.
“As a municipality which falls within Sekondi/Takoradi, we will do all that we can to support the initiative so that it will see the light of day”.
Mr. Acquah then urged the youth to take advantage of the opportunity knocking at their doors to register to enable them upgrade on their skills, noting that “with further training, you will become highly skilled workers in the industry that has high employability rate”.
The Dean of the Takoradi Technical University (TTU), Dr. Kankam, speaking on the project said the initiative is timely in the sense that it is expanding competence based training to the informal sector and also providing their access to accredited technical and vocational education training entry.
“This we believe will upgrade the skill and competence level of our tradesmen, improve human capital, and job creation. As an institution, we have a history of providing TVET skilled upgrade support to the informal sector. So, we want to assure you that whatever initiative you have, we will support you to execute it. This program is timely because we have realized that there are people who are looking for the upgrade. Some cannot go back to the formal sector because of some basic requirements that are becoming barriers to their progression. So, if this initiative is coming up, we believe it is very good so that we can upgrade whatever knowledge we have at their level so that they can be effective and efficient within whatever area that they are doing”, he noted.
He commended all the partners in the Ghana TVET Voucher Project for coming up with such a project aimed at providing free vocational education to the informal sector.
About the Ghana TVET Voucher Project
The Ghana TVET Project is under the Ghanaian-German Financial Development Cooperation and co-financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMW) through KfW Development Bank and the Government of Ghana.
The project sum is €22million. The German Government is providing €20million while the remaining €2million is being provided by the Government of Ghana.
The project has since September 2017 trained over 5,000 people in eligible trade areas such as: Beauty and Cosmetic (Cosmetology), Consumer Electronics, Automotive Repair, Building Construction (Welding) and Garment/tailoring/dressmaking.
It has also added Plumbing, Furniture making, Electric Installation, Block Laying and Tiling and Catering and Hospitality to the project.