Government urged to establish Construction Council

Mr DogbegahMr. Rockson Kwesi Dogbegah, Chairman Association of Ghana Industries (AGI) Construction Sector, has appealed to the government to establish a Construction Council to help strengthen and promote the Ghanaian construction industry.

 

He said the industry was suffering quality and performance constraints as a result of weak skills especially among artisans and that there was a dire need for sector-wide skills development.

 

He made the call when he delivered a paper titled, ‘A Case for Sector Skills Councils in Ghana’ last Thursday at a consultative breakfast meeting with industry stakeholders.

 

Organised by the Council for Technical and Vocational Training (COTVET), the meeting was to discuss among others, the establishment of sector skills bodies in the country.

 

It was attended by representatives from government and captains of industrial organisations including Ministries of Work and Housing; Education; Trade and Industry; and Employment and Labour Relations.

 

Others included the Association of Ghana Industries; Ghana Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Ghana Employers Association; Ghana Chamber of Mines; and the Ghana Institute of Engineers.

 

Sector skills councils are employer-led, independent and strategic organisations with responsibility for skills and workforce development of all those employed in their sectors; they involve trade unions, professional bodies.

 

Mr Dogbegah noted that there were relevant examples of how the United Kingdom had managed to organise and fund skills development through sector skills councils.

 

The four key goals of the councils he said were to reduce skills gaps and shortages, improve productivity; increase opportunities for all individuals in the workforce and improve learning supply.

 

“Among the many reforms required, there is a need for an employer-led approach to skills development with support from government,” he stated adding that it was an intrinsic part of securing growth of the country’s economy.

 

He also called for the development of an effective collaboration between academia and industry to enable the former to effectively engage the latter in the development of their curricula.

 

He said higher education institutions could form teaching and learning partnerships with relevant sector skills councils or directly with leading businesses.

 

These partnerships, he said could build on existing research links, or could link specialist institutional teaching to relevant sectors or could build upon the presence of local or regional industry clusters.

 

For the councils to  succeed he said the government should, among others  invite employers to step up to the challenge of bringing more young people  between the ages of 16 and 24 into
the productive workforce by funding employers directly for apprenticeships.

He said he should incentivise greater investment in adult workforce development by employers and employees, by moving from qualification-based provider funding to employer-based investments and loans to leverage additional outcomes and work experience opportunities.

 

 

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