Ghana:COVID-19 HAS TAUGHT US TO PREPARE YOUTH FOR THE FUTURE – EMPLOYMENT MINISTER
By Maxwell Nkansah
The Minister for Employment and Labor Relations, Ignatius Baffour-Awuah has indicated that one of the best ways to facilitate the development agenda of the nation is to have a highly skilled and strongly motivated labour force. He indicated that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process for nations and organizations to plan and prepare for the future of work, to ensure that they have people with the requisite skills and knowledge to produce world-class goods and services.
According to him the widespread adoption of precision quality in training and practice of the skilled labor would greatly contribute to the value addition of the Ghanaian labor force and raise the quality of local products and services to international standards. He stated that as a nation we need to prepare to adapt to the changes that come with the future of work.
The nature of work will change but TVET will continue to be relevant, they only need to nurture and develop these talents to meet global standards in the not-too-distant future. The minister made these observations at the stakeholder conference in Accra to design a national policy on precision quality as a key component of the TVET education in Ghana.
The consultative conference was held under the theme ‘Unlocking the Skills and Competencies of Young People for Quality Jobs in Ghana and the Globalized Labor Market’, and brought together key state and non-state stakeholders including the Ghana Standard Authority (GSA), Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET), Association of Ghana Industries (AGI), academia and Master Craft Persons.
As part of the conference, participants were taken through the findings of a baseline research commissioned by the Design and Technology Institute, DTI to help gather relevant data on the State of TVET education in Ghana. The establishment of a National Precision Quality Policy is expected to create thousands of sustainable jobs and work opportunities for young Ghanaian women and men. It will integrate the CTVET accredited precision quality curriculum into the learning outcomes of senior high schools, technical universities and workshops of Master Craft persons ensuring standardization across board. Director-General of the National Development Planning Commission, Dr. Kodjo Mensah-Abrampa said, the skill development constraints identified are the limited number of skilled industrial personnel and the mismatch to industrial needs.
Our proposals for the medium-term would be to ensure improved skills development for industry by transforming the apprenticeship training model from a supply-driven approach to a market-demand model. These would help consolidate our gains in skills training and position our youth for the future of work. The Chief Executive Officer of DTI, Ms. Constance Elizabeth Swaniker, commended the Mastercard Foundation for their immense role in the implementation of the PQ programme and other stakeholders for their tremendous support so far for the soon-to-be-developed National Policy on Precision Quality.
He further stated that they will continue to engage with all stakeholders in our collective effort to support the national agenda in addressing the skills gap challenge facing academia and industry and provide the basis for the creation of sustainable jobs for the youth through TVET programmes,