78 TVET institutions are participating in first National Skills competition which has been opened with the aim of harnessing the skills, technology and innovations of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and other informal sector players for national development.
The competition is in line with the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI) as competitors are showcasing innovations in building and construction technology, creative arts and fashion, information and communications technology (ICT), manufacturing and engineering technology, social and personal services and transport and logistics.
The minister for Education, Hon. Mathew Opoku Prempeh in addressing the opening of the competition indicated that Ghana through VOTVET is joining the World Skills International, a global hub for skills excellence and development, as part of efforts to promote skills development.
He said in 2017 COTVET in collaboration with Technical Universities organised the first ever skills exhibition to mark the world Youth Skills Day, and with sponsorship from GIZ, a team of 5 people were sent to observe the 44th WorldSkills Competition in Abu Dhabi, UAE in October 2017.
According to the Minister, the ministry places much emphasis on TVET education and will do all it can for the development of the skills force of the country.
The Executive Director of COTVET, Dr Fred Kyei Asamoah on his part, the competition is part of efforts being made to promote skills training and development for industrialization, generate greater awareness of the importance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and also to provide the needed platform as Ghana prepares to participate in the World Skills International competition next year.
He noted that for the past few years, Ghana has been successful in sending some SHSs to the World Robotics Competition and that hopefully, same will be done to deserving TVET students to next Yeats World Skills International competition.
He said government was focused on placing priority on technical and vocational education and training to build the technical capacity that would drive its industrialization agenda.
In that regard, he said, emerging skills and technologies would be introduced into the curriculum of TVET institutions to provide patrons with the skills required for national development.
He averred that COTVET had concluded a skills gap analysis into key sectors of the economy, including agriculture, construction, ICT and energy, and was now taking steps to address those shortfalls.
He added that COTVET was also carrying out a needs assessment of TVET institutions as part of steps to address the challenges in that sector.
“I wish to add that we have concluded feasibility studies for the establishment of 20 TVET centres to help build the capacity of students and players in that area,” he said.
He noted that TVET was particularly important, given the fact that the government’s agenda to move the country beyond aid required people with the right technical know-how.
Six of the most outstanding competitors will be selected to represent Ghana for the first time at the World Skills Competition, Africa, to be held in Uganda from November 20 to 24, this year.
By PROSPER AGBENYEGA