First Lady Lordina Mahama says Ghana must place emphasis on vocational education and skills development if it wants to develop as a nation. Mrs. Lordina Mahama noted that even though Technical and Vocational education enables the individual to earn a decent income and live a dignified life, which will ultimately reduce unemployment and widen the tax base , there are still challenges in the drive towards skills training.
The First Lady made the call when she presented start up kits to the Beauticians, Hairderessers, Tailors and Barbers Association in Upper West Region.
She stated that many training institutions and individual trainers do not have basic modern training equipment, and are therefore forced to rely heavily on outmoded equipment for training purposes.
“It is this lack of equipment that the Lordina Foundation has identified and has added start-up support for Hairdressers, Dressmakers and Barbers module to its operations” she noted.
She called on industries, which benefit directly from skills that graduates acquire, to support government by investing in the training institutions to acquire modern training equipment on the market.
Mrs Mahama stated that as the Ghanaian economy continues to expand and Ghana aspires to join the ranks of the developed nations, there is a real demand for skilled workforce in many of the industries, which is currently not being met. She mentioned the Asian Tigers, Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore as countries which has placed importance on developing a skilled workforce and that has significantly contributed to the expansion of their economies.
The First lady believes her support to the informal sector particularly, in the area of skills development and training is in line with the government’s transformation agenda, which advocates diversification, promotion and patronage of locally manufactured goods and services.
“The President’s vision is to transform the structure of the Ghanaian economy by placing emphasis on skills development. The Lordina Foundation’s aim is to complement this vision’ she said.
According to her in pursuit of this vision, the Government has introduced a number of initiatives, including Technical, Vocational Education and Training, that are already yielding dividends.
“Government has therefore embarked on a well-coordinated programme to rebrand Technical Vocational Education and Training, making it more attractive to the youth, and as part of President Mahama’s transformation agenda and ensuring that it becomes a main driver of employment and wealth creation” the first lady noted.
This strategy she indicated has led to transforming Polytechnics to Technical Universities.
Dr Lordina Mahama noted that the link between training institutions and industry be strengthened in order to ensure that graduates of technical, vocational education and training are smoothly absorbed by the industry, it is essential that
The informal sector, which trains and employs the vast majority of skill labour, must also be modernized, and encouraged to adopt more scientific methods of training.
The First Lady mentioned that one of the greatest challenge facing vocational education, including Hairdressing, Garment-making, Barbers and artisans, in Ghana is the perception that it is for underprivileged on the socio-economic ladder and those who are academically not good.
“All of us, and I mean parents, guardians, industry, and the State, must do well to change our wrong perceptions of Technical Vocational Education and Training’ she advised.
She urged those in the skilled industry to take advantage and access the Youth Enterprise Support (YES), Skills Development Fund (SDF), Development of Skills for Industry Project (DSIP) and the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI) all by government for their skills development or funding to grow their business and eventually, to earn a decent living.
Souurce: radioxyzonline.com/ Nasara Rahman