The era of apprentices being asked to run errands for master craftsmen will be a thing of the past with the passage of the National Apprenticeship Policy to harmonise apprenticeship practice in Ghana.
The policy, which is at the draft stage, would serve to synchronise traineeship and provide guidelines for effective coordination and implementation of good practices towards national economic growth and development.
The Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET) is developing the policy document in collaboration with the British Council.
Speaking at the I-Work result sharing workshop on the draft National Apprenticeship Policy in Accra, Mrs Gifty Twum-Ampofo, the Deputy Minister of Education in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training, expressed the hope that the policy would minimise abuses in the apprenticeship system.
“Even if the policy does not end it [errands for master craftsmen], it should be minimised to the barest form,” she stated.
The policy is also expected to improve the relationship between master craft persons and their trainees.
The apprenticeship policy aims to deliver a well-coordinated, inter-sectoral national apprenticeship system enabling all categories of learners to acquire relevant skills for employment, livelihoods empowerment and socio-economic development.
Mrs Twum-Ampofo said the Technical and Vocational Education (TVET) has the potential to stimulate economic development and make Ghana beyond aid agenda possible.
She said government has been taking practical steps to make Ghana the Centre of Excellence in TVET in Africa and globally competitive.
“Good apprenticeship attracts good pay,” she said. The aim of the Ministry of Education was to help provide quality world class apprentices, who would attract the attention of employers globally.
She advised parents and other stakeholders to help educate children and young people about TVET as the government strived to make the education system more attractive.
“If we want to develop our economy and ensure sustained job for the youth, then we must all join hands together to make apprenticeship more attractive than it is now,” she added.
Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah, the Executive Director of COTVET, said Germany, United States of America, Australia, United Kingdom and other European countries have developed their industries through apprenticeship.
“The development of the nation is based on standardisation and quality of apprenticeship programmes,” he added.
The draft policy has passed through various processes like interviews, validation and consultative meetings before it was prepared for sharing.
It would provide practical guidelines to policymakers and employers to improve upon the quality of training of apprentices.
Mr Asamoah said the policy would provide mechanism for aligning skills and knowledge acquired through apprenticeship with requirements of the world of work.
It would also improve effective collaboration among employers, training providers and the informal sector and ensure adequate and sustainable funding arrangement for apprenticeship practice.
“It will ensure effective review and application of lessons through efficient mobilisation and dissemination of liable and disaggregated information,” he said.
Mr Chikodi Onyemerela, the Director of Programme and Partnership at the British Council, said the I-Work Project was a two-year programme that seeks to create enhanced opportunities for young people in the Commonwealth by building the capacity of TVET leaders and practitioners.
The project connects training providers in India, Malaysia, United Kingdom, Ghana and South Africa.
He expressed the hope that upon the passage of the policy, it would make a positive turning point in apprenticeship delivery in Ghana.