National Skills Competition begins in Accra

Mr. Prempeh(second from left) with officials of COTVET at the programme.

Mr. Prempeh(second from left) with officials of COTVET at the programme.

Ghana’s maiden National Skills Competition organised under the auspices of the Council for Technical and Vocation Education and Training (COTVET) with the support of Ghana Skills Development Initiative has opened in Accra.

The three-day competition for both public and private technical and vocational education and training institutions across the country was aimed at showcasing and inspiring excellence in skills development as well as introducing the youth to variety of skilled careers.

The competition which also aimed at generating greater awareness on the importance of technical and vocational education, and the development of skills for global economies would have the best students representing Ghana at the African competition in Kigali, Rwanda, this year.

Speaking at the event yesterday, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh, Minister of Education, said as part of efforts to promote skills development in Ghana, government through COTVET had planned to join World Skills International (WSI) as an associate member and then later as a full member.

He said the country would select contestants to represent Ghana in next year’s world skills competition organised by WSI, an international body that brings together young people, industry, government and educational institutions to promote the benefit and the need for skilled trade professionals who are world champions of technical and vocational skills.

Dr Prempeh said a team of five were sent to observe the previous world skills competition at Abu Dhabi last year which eventually paved the way for the organisation of zonal skills competition to kick start the current competition.

He said the government through COTVET would remain committed to the skills development agenda in collaboration with all technical and vocational education and training institutions while collectively working together to promote industrialisation in Ghana.

Mr. Francis Awua-Kyeremanteng, COTVET Board Chairman said with the competition, emphasis was placed in equipping competitors with competitive skills so as to achieve the expected human capital for socio-economic development.

“For us in Ghana, to achieve this all important human resource, we need to ensure that our technical and vocational education and training institutions are well equipped with the relevant tools, equipment, consumables well trained and qualified facilitators and relevant, well developed curriculum that meet industry standards,” he said.

Mr. Awua-Kyeremanteng said skills creating opportunities and connecting societies were the foundation of economic development therefore, it was expected that the national skill competition would change the perception of technical and vocational training.

Dr. Fred Asamoah, Executive Director of COTVET, in a welcome address said, out of the 450 applications received, three students were selected from various skills displayed during the Northern and Southern Zonal competitions, adding that it contributed to the development of skills standards in Ghana to bring the nation closer to the world standards.

There were goodwill messages from the German Embassy, delegation of the European Union to Ghana, Swiss Embassy and the G12.

In all, about 70 students assembled in Accra to compete in manufacturing and engineering technology, which involved welding, metal works and mechatronics, information and communication technology(IT software solutions for business) and information communication and technology( fashion technology and graphic design technology).

Other skill categories were construction and building technology (auto body repair, auto body spraying, and auto mobile technology) and social and personnel services (baking and cooking for catering beauty therapy and hairdressing for cosmetology).

By Lawrence Markwei and David Takyi

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