Be Ready For GYEEDA — Min. Charges NVTIs

Nii Armah AshitteyThe Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Nii Armah Ashietey, has urged the National and Vocational Training Institutes (NVTIs) to hold themselves in readiness as the ministry prepares to role out programmes under the Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA).

He said Cabinet has approved arrangements for the programme to be placed under the ministry to promote skill development for the youth and also create job opportunities for them.

Nii Ashietey gave this indication here when he visited the Takoradi Vocational Training Institute (TVTI) last Wednesday, as part of his drive to assess the preparedness of training institutions under his ministry, in delivering their mandate to train the youth and equip them with employable skills to make them competitive on the job market.

“It’s a good development and we are excited to help the graduates with skills development and prepare them for the industry. There are challenges but, it’s good that we are having the review, so that we know where we are, where we are going, how to get there and the youth are going to benefit,” he told the journalists.

Meanwhile, addressing the staff and students, Mr. Ashietey explained that, the new the exercise would
translate into the development of modules and programmes to be run by some institutions including the Management Development and Productivity Institute(MDPI), the Opportunity and Industrialisation Centres (OICs) and the technical and vocational institutes across the country.

“This does not mean that we re-invent the wheel, we have the wheel already and what we have to do is pulse and see what we can do move the institutions forward, assess their capabilities in skills training to make them efficient and effective,” he said.

Mr. Ashietey noted that the universities and other institutions of higher learning were churning out youth who did not have the requisite skills for the industry and in most cases they had to be retrained.
He argued that the trend needed to change for the technical and vocational institutions to take up the challenge and propel the system to train people with employable skills ready for the job market.

Mr Ashietey said the informal sector, which was characterised by low incomes but provided the chunk of the jobs, must be made ready for the youth with employable skills to get their own jobs and work towards economic growth, adding however that, the talents must be made competitive.

“The real target is the informal sector to train the youth to be skilled and employable. And as their businesses grow, they will also employ other people. For, unemployment is a global phenomenon, we have to deal with the problem.” the Minster stressed.

But within this enterprise, he pointed out that, the technical and vocational institutions must re-position themselves to take up the new challenge by embarking on advocacy programmes for the public to know the products they offered.

Mr. Ashietey “Fortunately, for us GYEEDA is coming to the ministry, and so work and improve yourselves and we will support you by providing you with the necessary logistics and tools you must change the mindset and ensure that the programme becomes successful and reduce the unemployment deficit.”

Admitting that the training institutions were faced with some difficulties, the minister encouraged them to work harder and leave some legacies for society saying “one vehicle to redress the unemployment situation is to address the problem of training in employable skills.”

He added, “The future of this country depends on how we train the youth in technical and vocational skills and that is the truth. The world is changing fast. Even today we have the association of unemployed graduates but with technical and vocational training, we can make the difference by tackling the problem of infrastructure. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Disabusing the notion that technical and vocational education was for drop outs, the Executive Director for the National Vocational Training Institute [NVTI],Mr. S.B. Amponsah said ‘’if we are to succeed as a nation then we do not have to toy with technical and vocational education.”

“Technical education is for the socio economic development of every nation and apart from the notion about it being for drop outs, there is the discrimination in the allocation of resources. But, with this type of education, we need the classrooms here for more people to participate in the course,” he added.

The Manager of Takoradi Vocational Training Institute, Bernard Forson, told the minister that the school started with 60 students and now has a student population of 530.

He said 40 percent out of the 1,800 youth trained by the institute so far, were employed by industries especially in the mining sector and were performing exceptionally.

Mr Forson appealed to the minister to assist in fast -tracking the re-tooling for the NVTI institutions so as to sustain vocational training and also make a meaningful impact on the youth in the country, pointing out that, lack of infrastructure had pushed the institute to run three streams which was more stressful for the teaching staff. – Clement Adzei Boye, Takoradi


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