Apprenticeships are now compulsory …as TVET drafts new policy for implementation

The Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training (COTVET), in collaboration with the British Council under the I-Work Project, has developed a draft National Apprenticeship Policy for implementation.

The drafted policy aims among others to ensure that an apprenticeship is a compulsory requirement for all students, especially those within the Technical and Vocational Education Training (TVET) schools.

Dr. Charles Teye Amoatey, Consultant for Draft National Apprenticeship Policy, stated that employers often complain the reasons they are unable to employ many of the youth, even from the universities, is because they do not have the skills needed for the workplace; which means that the training students are offered in the schools does not appear to imbue them with relevant skills for the job market.

This reason necessitated the broad national consultation to implement a policy that tackles respective challenges to bridging the gap between education/training and the job market.

“We want to ensure that as part of training within the schools, we still make provision for trainees or students to go into industry and acquire skills they need for the job market; that is what the policy is all about.

“The process has been consultative, working hand in hand with all managers of training institutions at the secondary, technical and tertiary levels. We brought on board employers and also master craft-persons and students themselves. We had a lot of discussions, and we all agreed that our educational institutions do not aim at providing skills but, rather, knowledge,” he said.

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The policy’s specific objectives include: to provide an integrated and standardised approach for undertaking apprenticeships at all levels and sectors; provide a mechanism for aligning skills/ knowledge acquired through apprenticeship with requirements in the world of work; and improving the coordination mechanisms as well as regulatory and institutional frameworks required for effective apprenticeship practice in Ghana

Deputy Minister for Education in charge of TVET, Gifty Twum-Ampofo, noted that the drafted policy is currently before the board of the counsel for technical and vocational education and training, and will go to Cabinet after that level with the hope that these processes will be concluded so the policy will be launched before end of year.

“The competitiveness in TVET cannot be only classroom studies; there should be a system to ensure there is a streamlined apprenticeship policy to ensure that when anybody is going for an apprenticeship the person knows exactly what he/she is going to do.

“Whether you are having your apprenticeship in TVET or by master-craftsman, there should be standards in terms of details and curriculum so that everywhere you go it is the same process; which will then mean uniformity in knowledge acquired,” she said.

The Executive Director of COTVET, Dr. Fred Kyei Asamoah, emphasised that the policy document aims to provide direction for strengthening the National Apprenticeship System (NAS) for development of the Ghanaian economy. The Ministry of Education shall have overall oversight of the policy, especially in approval, dissemination, budget allocation, policy coherence and monitoring and evaluation.

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