Mr Ignatius Baffour Awuah, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, has urged educational institutions to create programmes that would equip students with the needed expertise to feed Ghana’s burgeoning automobile sector.
The minister said the establishment of assembling plants by global automobile firms had created employment opportunities, hence, the need for the development of local expertise to meet the demands of the industry.
Mr Awuah made the appeal when he paid a working visit to the assembling plant of Japan Motors Trading Company, Tema, in the Greater Accra Region to familiarise himself with activities of the company.
The $9m assembly plant was inaugurated in March, this year, and has the capacity to produce more than 31,000 vehicles annually.
Mr Awuah urged the citizenry to patronise locally assembled vehicles in order to sustain the local automobile assembling companies.
He said he was impressed by the quality of vehicles assembled by the company, and expressed the hope that the vehicles would be well patronised to make the company profitable enough to expand its operations.
The minister encouraged the Management of the Company to regularly upgrade the skills of their staff through in-service training and exchange programmes.
On occupational safety, Mr Awuah called on institutions to invite the Department of Factory Inspectorate to inspect their offices for certification to ensure the safety of workers and the 3/3 workplace.
He also urged the Department to be proactive in its inspections to ensure that such facilities were inspected ahead of time.
Mr Solomon Penneh, the Plant Manager of Japan Motors, said the company assembled five cars daily, culminating into 6,000 vehicles annually.
He said the Company had also engaged 40 permanent employees, adding that the vehicles assembled in Ghana were of the same quality as those manufactured in Japan and other countries in accordance with the quality standards set by Nissan globally.
Mr Abdul Somad-Musah, the Deputy Managing Director of Japan Motors, thanked the minister for the visit to acquaint himself with its operations. -GNA