A total of 591 youths, comprising 403 males and 188 females, have graduated from a six-month intensive competency-based training in the oil palm sector, under the nationally accredited curriculum of the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education Training (CTVET).
The graduates are made up of the first and second cohorts of the programme, spearheaded by Solidaridad West Africa, in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH’s Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI) Project, and the University College of Agriculture and Environmental Studies (UCAES).
As part of the training, the learners underwent practical training sessions at selected agricultural enterprises, such as Ghana Oil Palm Development Company (GOPDC), Volpalm, Volta Red, among others, through workplace experience learning (WEL), which is an integral component of CBT training.
The programme, overall, aims at equipping young people with practical skills and competencies that are in demand by the industry to facilitate their transition into employment.
The training was funded by the German Government through the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), with the support of other donor partners like the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).
The beneficiaries were trained by some five partner institutions under CTVET. They include UCAES, Kumasi Institute of Tropical Agriculture (KITA), Asuansi Technical Institute, Father Dogli Memorial Technical and Vocational Institute and the Kpando Technical Institute.
The Programme Manager of Solidaridad West Africa, Mr. Nicholas Issaka Gbana, speaking at the graduation of the learners at Bunsu in the Eastern Region, reiterated that the goal of this training is for the learners to find work in the oil palm sector.
Already, out of the 506 learners that graduated last year, he noted that 36 percent have found jobs in the oil palm sector as entrepreneurs or third-party employees, while 16 percent work outside the oil palm sector.
Mr. Gbana, in his remarks also acknowledged the receipt of €847,615, being additional funds from GIZ to finance the second cohort of the training.
Furthermore, he announced that the CTVET certificates of competence will be issued to the learners.
The Head of Programme for Sustainable Economic Development of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ), Mr. Detlev Axel Jahn, also speaking at the ceremony, reckoned that TVET has gained a lot of political momentum.
Given this, he noted the Government of Ghana’s increasing investments in transforming the sector for the better.
“We applaud the efforts to make TVET more attractive and efficient by strategically investing in strong institutions, harmonised standards, and the establishment of state-of-the-art training centres,” he stated.
He said the right steps are being taken to make TVET the bedrock upon which economic empowerment of the youth will be anchored.
The GIZ, he said, is fully convinced that if a young person’s training is one-sided, without the benefit of both classroom training and practical field experience, it builds a weak foundation, resulting in an under-skilled labour force and poor outcomes for the industry.
Against this background, “providing demand-driven training to job-seeking youths, apprentices, workers and others, however, builds a confident and job-ready workforce that makes them attractive to the industry, both as skilled employees and highly engaged entrepreneurs”, he added.
“The German Government, through the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and with support of other donor partners like the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), continuously supports the Commission for TVET´s innovative approach to roll out competency-based training models that combine both workplace-based training and school-based training at selected training providers.”
“Through the Ghana Skills Development Initiative (GSDI), we seek to improve the quality of TVET and enhance skills and qualifications that foster the economic development of the country,” he stated.
It was indicated that the co-financier of the programme, SECO, has been a key partner to both GSDI and Solidaridad West Africa, with their extensive experience in TVET.