The Chair of the AGI Construction Sector, Rockson Dogbegah, has held talks with the Head of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at GIZ, Tobias Muhler, on linking artisans to formal training and technology.
It emerged from the meeting that there is a need to deepen stakeholder engagements among practitioners, academia, and the regulatory bodies.
Mr. Dogbegah intimated the need to develop and certify the skills and capacity of artisans through a mentoring scheme. Currently, there is some consensus in industry that there is a mismatch between the training provided by formal academic institutions and what industry needs.
He further noted that the Construction Industry Development Forum, Ghana (CIDF-GH) is an organised platform of stakeholders belonging to the public and private sectors as well as the non-governmental community. CIDF-GH is thus identified as an organisation that can be transformed into a sector skills council for the construction sector.
Tobias was impressed by the progress made by the AGI Construction Sector in mobilising stakeholders of the construction industry to deal with its constraints. Tobias identified the lack of progression for Master artisans as problematic because it is a disincentive to further skills development. He further intimated the importance in creating an apprenticeship system that enables further academic and professional development of artisans. He expressed the interest of GIZ in this area of development support.
In attendance was the Executive Secretary of the AGI Construction Sector, Kenneth Donkor-Hyiaman, and the Senior Policy Advisor for TVET at the GIZ, Dr. Joseph Abaiku Apprey.
To work effectively as artisans in the informal sector, it was agreed by both parties that youngsters require a scope of knowledge and skills. The EFA Global Monitoring Report (UNESCO, 2012) on youth skills development expresses that traditional apprenticeships are an imperative method for procuring transferable and job-specific skills. A broad audit of the literature of Ghana uncovers that the nation has long history of traditional apprenticeship, and that this type of skills training reaches more youth than the formal specialised and professional training. However, continuous skills development is regularly ignored in the informal sector.
All through sub-Saharan Africa, traditional apprenticeships between a Master Artisan and a trainee are a typical and central medium for skills advancement. The fundamental qualities of traditional apprenticeship are its practical orientation, its self-regulation, self-financing, and its adaptable and non-formal nature which obliges people who do not have the educational prerequisites for formal training.
By and large, there is an unfortunate deficiency of administrative system and institutionalised certification after the training. The Master Artisans may sometimes issue certificates to learners, but those certificates are not recognised by formal institutions according to the ILO in a publication of 2012. Given the high cost of education and the abnormal state of neediness in numerous sub-Saharan African nations, evidence demonstrates that informal apprenticeships are estimated at between 50% to 90% of youngsters in those nations: for example, Gambia, Ghana, Senegal, Madagascar, Zambia, Tanzania, Mali and Malawi according to Fabienne and Jens in a publication of 2012.
It is therefore envisaged that linking informal artisans to formal training promises great benefits to artisans, clients and the economy at large.